The surprising link between reassurance and doubt

There’s many ways we reach out for reassurance when we are doubting ourselves:
‘But do you think people will mind?’
‘What are you going to wear to this?’
‘Do you believe I’m making a mistake?’

It’s very common to touch base with people around us, stretch out our feelers and compare base, before we make a final decision.
But did you know that this coping mechanism doesn’t just appease, but actually worsens self-doubt?

Avoiding uncertainty, validating external authority.
What is there to like?

Full disclosure: This is primarily an issue for people suffering with OCD (and is better explained in this article). Not having OCD, I was intrigued however, and saw parallel lessons to learn for all people.
But especially for us folk with pre-existing trauma.
The more people indulge in soothing our anxiety, the more we will fall back on this.
The more we need people to give us external validation, the more we rely on it.

We think we need others to tell us we’re doing okay,
but that’s exactly what keeps us trapped.

Our self-worth system has been corrupted by trauma:
We don’t trust our gut instinct anymore and don’t feel up to the task.
Sometimes we are lucky to have a healthy support system, but often we are not.
This is either due to our families being the one’s who traumatised us or us attracting people with their own issues with our insecure attachment styles.
Our well-being becomes inherently depended on our environment.

So wouldn’t it be easier to learn to give ourselves what we’ve been demanding from others?

Easier said than done! I used to think.
But what if I say the wrong thing and get fired? What if I say something controversial and get cancelled on twitter? What if…
The truth is, nobody knows what they’re doing. We’re all either endowed with a healthy sense of confidence or are faking it.
How many times have you noticed someone being listened to just because they spoke with their chest, even though you quietly knew they were wrong?
Don’t be a wallflower, join me in being our own reassurance and ditching self-doubt!

5 thoughts on “The surprising link between reassurance and doubt

Add yours

  1. This is such a good post! I’ve found out that there is a connection between seeking reassurance (outside yourself) and depression.
    I used to asked people all the time ‘if they were mad at me’ when I was a teenager ’till the point it became very annoying.


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