I'm looking for a positive word or phrase - though ideally, a single word - that suggests that old dubious beliefs are being re-examined and questioned. "Self-doubt", has a negative connotation and I would like this to indicate a sort of personal growth.

For example, it could describe someone who used to be paranoid and believe that everyone was conspiring against them learning to become more trusting.

  • rational, logical??
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 23:28
  • @Jim: Those words make sense in context, but don't necessarily stress that becoming more rational was a type of personal growth. Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 23:37
  • What is negative about self-doubt? How does it conflict with the desire for personal growth?
    – Drew
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 0:11
  • How about reflection? Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 8:44
  • How about 'realism'?
    – PCARR
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 12:36

3 Answers 3


Perhaps self-questioning, self-examination, self-analysis or introspection are somewhere near the target?

  • Introspection is very good. I may use that. Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 17:40

The belief is being looked at more critically and with more discrimination leading to it being applied less blindly.

Through being less blinkered, they have stopped seeing everything through the lens of the belief and have stopped applying it quite so over-enthusiastically and are now more discerning in its use.

Their fervour (fervor AmE) has diminished, to be replaced by a more considered approach.

Maybe this has come from an increase in personal humility?


The term awaken can mean

To become aware of something: He finally awakened to the fact that he was wrong.

[Webster's New World Dictionary]

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