Why You Should Never “Doubt Your Doubts”


Doubt your doubts” has become a popular refrain – but the statement and its underlying message are dangerously problematic. To put it simply: Doubts are natural, and even healthy – but if left unaddressed or added to, they can become very unhealthy. While there can be a certain amount of healthiness in letting small doubts slide, if your doubts revolve around who you are, what you believe, or how you live your life, they need to be addressed.

The problem with “doubting your doubts”

Left unaddressed, doubt will grow and infect your happiness, eating away at it. “Doubting your doubts” only compounds this problem and risks turning a small cut into a festering wound. Conversely, addressing doubt is part of a healthy process that will inevitably help you – not hurt you.

If you indiscriminately investigate your doubts and come to the conclusion that they are unfounded, it will set your mind at peace and you will be free of the doubts that were eating away at you. Additionally, it will solidify what you believe and increase what you know because of your thorough investigation.

On the other hand, if you find that your doubts were warranted, you will be more enlightened about yourself and the world around you — even if it means you have to change yourself or something you believe. While this can sometimes be difficult at first, ultimately it leads to a healthier and happier place because doubt will no longer be eating away at you. This is how we grow as human beings.

The path to inner peace

Regardless of what happens when you address your doubts – whether your beliefs are reaffirmed or you find out some uncomfortable truths – addressing doubt ultimately leads to happiness and growth. Meanwhile, ignoring them can lead to deteriorating mental health and worse. It’s in everyone’s best interest to face their doubts and come out the other side the better for it. Those who tell you otherwise probably have an interest in keeping you in the dark.

Casey has a background in writing and journalism – and is known for his mediation and discussion skills. In his spare time he enjoys absorbing, dissecting and disseminating information — particularly in U.S. politics, religion, technology, science, music, gaming, and pop-­culture.

0 thoughts on “Why You Should Never “Doubt Your Doubts”

  1. I read that quote entirely differently. I know a Rabbi who was asked if he really believed in God, and his response was “Sometimes.” This would be odd coming from someone who was supposed to be steeped in the worship of God, but his explanation was interesting.

    Sure, there are reasons to not believe in God. Particularly for this individual, given the Holocaust and continued Jewish oppression. Nevertheless his further explanation, which I am paraphrasing elaborated.

    He answered that just because he may be questioning God was no reason to not say his prayers. This again is odd, questioning God was precisely why one may not say their prayers, since God may not be there. But his explanation was that faith, and all of the rituals going along with faith, are the framework that allowed him to work out his relationship with God. By sticking to his prayers, to keeping kosher, to living as an observant Jew, he had the freedom to really explore this relationship, because it was the observation that allowed him the opportunities to connect with God.

    I see that as the thrust of Uctdorf’s talk. We all have doubts, and those are good. But we cannot jettison everything we believe. The structure of our faith allows us the opportunity to explore doubts and work out, with God, where those doubts lead us.

    I do not think the issue is doubting the doubts, per se, but rather not tossing out the baby with the bath water.

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