Doubts are traitors

“Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.”

William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, Act I Scene 4

“Doubts are traitors!” My father loves to quote Shakespeare, and he quoted this line to me when I told him I was having doubts about graduating with an English degree. I was a little worried about what I’m going to do after I graduate. I’m terrified that I’m going to fail.

You see, I’ve been harbouring ghosts in my mind, refusing to acknowledge their existence. I did really well in my O’ Level Examinations, so when I did my A’ Levels, everyone expected me to get 3 A’s. I didn’t. I got D’s instead and that was my first taste of academic failure. Since then, I’ve been choosing things that I know that I can do well at. I avoid anything that I think I might not be able to handle. But that’s no way to live. No one should allow their past mistakes to limit their dreams. Since I got those A Level results, I have been doubting my abilities and I have stopped challenging myself. I needed my father to tell me to stop running away for me to realize that I’ve been carrying those results with me, letting them weigh me down. What I should have done is looked at why I got those results, learnt from my mistakes and moved on. There is no room for ghosts when you’re trying to be exceptional.

So here is my question to you. Do you avoid some things because of past failures? Are you scared of making the same mistakes? Do you doubt your abilities? Don’t let your doubts stop you because DOUBTS ARE TRAITORS. If you let them, they will leave you indecisive and stop you from following your dreams.

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One thought on “Doubts are traitors

  1. Do you avoid some things because of past failures?
    Absolutely, despite learning a lot about myself and others from them. It seems inevitable because my mind functions in a context-sensitive fashion, and often I’m reminded promises I made to myself in order to avoid making the same mistake.

    Are you scared of making the same mistakes?
    Definitely. I’d be lying if I claimed otherwise. What I fear most is the nature of my life and the temptation to involve myself in situations that would put me at risk of repeating mistakes. That has to be the worst, wanting to get into the same problems you’re trying to avoid.

    Do you doubt your abilities?
    Moreso as I grow older and more distant from the “common-denominator” of society at-large. Being on your own afford you the luxury of personalization and specialization of behaviors to your taste to the point where it only becomes more difficult to relate to others on any level. So if you doubt your ability to even relate to others well enough to make meaningful connections, you can extrapolate a host of other doubts.

    If doubts are traitors, I have an army to battle. And they’ve been training!

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