Self-Doubt and Jealousy

I have a fear. I have a fear that it’s all in my head. What would that be? What’s in my head? Many things.

That food really matters. That I don’t feel good after I eat sugar, bread, and milk. That I can influence how my children develop. That I deserve time to myself as a mom. That I’m any different than anyone else. That I can write. That I know anything that I am talking about.

It is self-doubt. I’m not good enough. I haven’t done enough. Everyone else is smarter. They know what they’re talking about and I don’t. I’m flighty.

All my life I’ve fought it in any way that I could. I’ve fought the quiet little girl from podunkville whose parents (the best parents for me, I would never trade them ever) live exactly where they were born and never wanted more than what they had. Heck, they’re probably related for all I know.

(I remember these two doctors for my med school interview. I had to list on the application where my parents were from and even went to high school. Oh, man. They noticed that right off. “So, your parents went are from the same county? Went to the same high school?” I think I replied, “Yeah! They were first cousins.” No, I didn’t, but I felt the implied insult.)

Each day has been spent in not failing. If I do this well, maybe then I’ll believe in myself. But no matter what the measuring stick, whether you raise it to ten feet tall or drop it to 4 feet 6, my self-doubt persists.

I try to pass it off in nice terms: humility and goodness. I’m supposed to strive to be humble and good, yes? Right? It’s my religion. (Shame on me. I’m sorry. Wrong religion.)

Beginning yesterday, finally, after all these years, I see my self-doubt for what it is.


I am too proud to allow room for failure. I am too proud to risk room for being wrong, not doing it right.

The real changers aren’t too proud. They change the world. They change ideas. Their pride doesn’t interfere with what they think they know and want to share, what they’re called to share. The good ones, the humble ones–they just re-work their theories and thoughts as people expand or rebut their ideas.

The best ones DO without attaching the results to WHO they are.

Oh, don’t confuse my self-doubt with lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. Honestly, I don’t want to be anyone other than who I am. Hand me lots of things, and I have confidence in my abilities to pull them off. (But someone else can always do it better…)

Lately, I’ve noticed sometimes that I have these strange pangs of envy and jealousy. They are not common themes in my life, and I haven’t understood them. I’m not normally that type. Because normally I’m living up to my full potential in each area of my life. Probably living up to my full potential in areas of life I shouldn’t be.

(What do I mean? Well, I’m not naturally neat, but I keep my house neat. I’m not naturally the science type, but I’ve culled myself that way for 26 years.)

I really couldn’t give a drop more in most places. And guess what–I’m not jealous in those places.

But there are a few places—places that make me characteristically me—that I’m not putting myself out there because of self-doubt, and as I stepped back to look, I saw jealousy telling me exactly that.

My self-doubt has taken me from a place of caution, which is probably good, to a place of fear and holding back, to a place of developing jealously. I see it now.

So today I say thank-you to my self-doubt and jealousy, both “BAD” feelings, for teaching me. For telling me to live up to my potential and to stop making excuses.

(“I don’t have enough time… My kids will feel neglected if… I couldn’t do that… I’m not good enough… It has already been said… I’ll look stupid… People will think I’m a fruitcake… I can’t post that blog post without a picture… I don’t run a clinic, so what I have to say isn’t important… Another real expert has a blog on this, so what is one more… Homeschooling, inspiration, and nutrition science on one blog is weird… I’ve spent 42 years of my life learning to keep my mouth shut—a very hard task for me— to look smarter, so I can’t possibly open it… My grammar isn’t good enough… Sometimes I don’t eat the way I should… Of course they can do it, they have more time. They understand computers better.”)

My self-doubt has been keeping my childish pride safe, the part that wants to prove I can do it, the part that says bicycle falls hurt. The jealousy is my inner parent telling me I’m not living up to my own potential in areas that I am called to.

Are you feeling self-doubt? (No worries! So am I–for writing this post!) Are you feeling jealousy? Despite feeling content in life? Then, my friend, you have some work to do.

Get on it. YOU have a difference to make.


19 thoughts on “Self-Doubt and Jealousy

  1. Elisa | blissful E

    Yes to the pride holding us back. I mean, no, I need to say “no” to it but I’m not sure how to do that yet. But confessing it helps, and just trying things that make me a bit -or a lot- uncomfortable.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Good morning! Yes, for me, I think stepping out, looking over my own shoulder, and noticing it is always my first step. I kept getting those jealous pangs, and I was like, “What the world?! This is not normal, Terri.” And I saw three areas in my life that I was not living as freely as I wanted. Two of them were absolutely self-doubt induced. Clearly. The other was excuse making about time. But, as you say, time for me to get a bit–or a lot–uncomfortable! LOL!

      By the way, have always loved your Avatar that shows up. Beautiful. 🙂 I just noticed the INJF. Nice to meet you. ENFJ here. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

    I can relate to all that you wrote. The internal struggle is real . . . especially when one is on leave from their chosen profession’s traditional role for whatever reason. I appreciate your honesty in all of the subjects you discuss on this blog and want to hear what you have to say.

  3. EmilyMaine

    You make such a difference with this blog. It and you are wonderful. I think I often feel self doubt about my writing. I used to be rather smart and now feel like I don’t ever get there with my writing. Funny you should say that sometimes you wonder about the food. I am always on and off dairy. It seems ok for me now but Holly can’t tolerate it in my breastmilk. Every now and then I think it’s all in my head and then I have some and she has a super grungy groaning night. I just need to accept that for her it is the dairy so that means right now is not the season for dairy for me 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      As one of my daughters used to say, “You’re making me veeeeerrry hap-py!” (When we’d compliment her.) THANK YOU!

      You should not feel self-doubt about your writing. You were just complimented the other day on it by a reader! It is very real, often raw, often poignant, and always fun to read. Sometimes I think, “Oh, I don’t have time to read this right now. I should wait. Ok. I’ll just peak at the first paragraph and see what’s up…” Yeah. Then, before I know it I’m at the end. Then, I think, “I should leave a comment now.” But I usually make myself wait till later to do that so I can really “talk.” 🙂

      But yes. I think if you suspect milk sensitivity, it’s there. Really destroys a good latte, doesn’t it!? 🙂

      I know it sounds strange, but I’m embarrassed about my food sensitivities. I don’t want them. People in general don’t believe in food sensitivities. Medicine doesn’t believe much in food sensitivities. But from my experience, friends’ experiences, family members’ experiences, reading across the internet, reading Doris Rapp MD, and etc, they’re so real and so common. So I back myself up and say, “Well maybe I’m not really sensitive to eggs.” Then I eat eggs for a bit and have to go dry myself out when things get bad again.

      Well, this is growing long, and my baby woke up early, so I’ve been trying to type this for a very long time this morning. So I’ll close. Thanks for all. I hope things are smoooooth sailing over there.

      1. EmilyMaine

        Oh boy, the dairy thing really does destroy a great coffee!! Right now when I need it most. The cafe does a coconut milk version which I do have but it’s not the same. Waaaaaah. It actually seems through all the years of elimination and reintroduction that I can now tolerate it which is great, but baby cannot. Oh well. I just tel myself these things have a season and now it is a no dairy one. It is ok 🙂

        Thx for the lovely compliments on my writing. You are beautiful. You are also super mum!! 4!! I am so impressed. And you homeschool. Seriously amazing. I am in awe of you right now. Xx

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Yep! I agree with the season idea on food sensitivities. Have found that true for myself, that usually I can bring things back in at a nice, tasteful level after leaving them out.

        Hugs and thoughts of a warm, creamy, foamy latte to you. My baby is screaming, so will close. But at least I slept last night!

  4. rachelmeeks

    I don’t know if you’ve read the Divergent series but you sound a lot like Tris, the heroine. That’s a good thing. 😉

    Ps: me and my husband grew up in the same county and went to the same high school…. But surely we’re not cousins… >.> 😉

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I haven’t read the Divergent series! But maybe I will! (I’m glad it’s a good thing…)

      And hahaha! Thanks for coming in on the sarcasm! One of my best friends from high school and I joked via text today that probably everybody in our home county is related! Crazy, middle-aged, professional white men. Born with silver spoons. 🙂 (I’m teasing. But with a bit of truth. The interviewers weren’t bad sorts. They let me in to the school, I guess!)

      I hope you’re having a wee bit of time to read and write. I know the baby is a sweetie, albeit babies are darn hard work. Until they’re about 4. Hang in there.

  5. Lindsay

    Whoa. You really do read my mind. Cue the twilight zone music…

    I’ve thought along a similar line so many times. I’m hoping that I will soon find a way to push through the excuses (I mean come on, how crazy is it to invent excuses to give myself?!) and make some real progress. Flying or falling, at least it will be forward motion.

    Now for the first step- sleep!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I am the great Zambini. Watch me fly. LOL!

      Did you get some sleep?

      Yes. Self-doubt and jealousy are reminders that we must make an effort to express ourselves. Whether it be in gardening, writing, motivating others, sewing, etc. Express our true selves. Overcoming physical/life barriers/self barriers to fulfill that.

      Oh, man. My baby woke up two hours earlier than normal. She’s a mess. It’s going to be a long flying flight for the Great Zambini today. 🙂

      Till we meet again!

      1. Lindsay

        Aww, good luck, Great Zambini mama! I didn’t get to bed early, but it wasn’t too horribly bad. Until *someone* was up going potty at 4 AM and having a loud conversation with herself. Like a dialogue, back and forth. Sometimes arguing. I would have laughed much harder if it hadn’t been 4 AM…

        Maybe your little person will be that much more ready for a nap soon? Mine would never be. But we can pretend. 😉 Positive thoughts, positive thoughts…

  6. Lindsay

    Yes. It is that bad. It’s amazing what sleep deprivation will do to you. 😂

    There was a long discussion involving fairies and Pixie Hollow, followed by an analysis of wanting to play with the neighbor girl’s balloon. Riveting stuff.

  7. andthreetogo

    How weird! I just came to this realization myself the other day… I always thought I was humble, but my insecurity in what I do and how I do it, and that I need to be in control of everything is completely pride. I can honestly say that I have never felt content in life, and now I just need to figure out how to give up the pride (slow methodical steps of realizing I am not in control I think) and start that journey…
    Must be this time of life or something haha… hoping your week is fantastic and that your doubts are assuaged!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I think it IS this time of life! And ditto what you said just above there in this comment box! I just have felt led to share more on what’s on my heart, yet it just doesn’t seem “scientific”–and how do you reach people except by the facts?! 🙂 So there’s a battleground in my brain between my sharing, personal side and my practical, safe side. We’re going to get them to fight together, though. 🙂 (Except I’m not sure it’s “normal” to talk about them personified… ha!)

      Week is going well here! Surrounded by extra friends and family visiting.

  8. Christine

    I’ve been mulling this for a few days and it struck me that (in my case at least) underneath that naughty pride thing lurks something else. The need to feel I’m earning my keep.

    When we’re not earning money, there’s always a niggling part that feels a little guilty, right? You know how it is, someone asks you ‘what you do’. You can list off everything you do in a day – and you homeschooling ladies do a LOT, and all with a baby at the breast half the time! – but you still get that look, right? There’s the “oh nice for you ..” followed by the awkward silence. Believe me, with my kids grown & gone and me still choosing to be ‘at home’, I get that look a lot.

    I think that gets internalised for some of us. For me it does. I know better but it still happens. When I have that going on is when I will try to keep my little queendom running like a Swiss clock, even though, really, it’s not how I would normally roll.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Christine,

      Good day! Good day to you! How are you? I’ll have to think that over about the earning my keep. I know I feel that at times, for sure. I kind of feel that way with blogging. “Stereotypical stay-at-home mom. She has a blog…” Luckily, my husband says he likes to read my blog, so that keeps me floating in glass slippers. Especially since “he pays for” the upgraded, no ads version. 🙂 But I still like to have the house cleaned, meal cooked, and kids happily occupied (queendom runnPeoping like a Swiss clock) before I “squander my time.”

      Take care. May the breeze pick up and cool your home!


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