When I started looking up quotes on doubt to inspire me in writing this post, I found most were negative about doubt itself as a concept, or saw doubting as a negative, even harmful action. And to an extent these sayings are valid. The saying “Distance doesn’t ruin a relationship, doubts do” is true in that physical distance itself isn’t enough to destroy a relationship, there have to be strong thoughts/feelings which lead people to decide to dissolve their union, and these thoughts/feelings can indeed be doubts about the person or the relationship itself. And of course, in some cases it may be personal insecurity or jealousy that births these doubts, but sometimes doubt forms from just taking a honest look at a relationship and realizing you just aren’t compatible with the other person, that you each have different needs and goals that the other person can’t fulfill because of who they are as people. So definitely, doubt can be harmful if it comes from a place of insecurity, but it can also be helpful if it comes from a place of wanting honesty and clarity.
I believe that doubt can be a really beneficial tool when used in the right way. I believe that it is especially healthy to practice a degree of doubt when you examine your own beliefs and ideas about the world. To scrutinize your religious, social, political, cultural beliefs and ask yourself “Why do I believe this? Where did I get the information for these beliefs? How do I know that the source(s) is trustworthy and valid? What evidence have I seen that contradicts my beliefs? What are some of the different opinions about (x) topic? How much of what I believe was taught to me from birth and echoed around those in my family/community, whether explicitly or implicitly?”
Doubt can help us better ourselves as human beings by realizing which beliefs we hold are harmful, which beliefs are false, and which beliefs need to be changed if we want to live in reality. By trimming away these harmful or false ideas from our consciousness, we help ourselves flourish as more positive individuals and become fuller, more complex-thinking human beings.