“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have.
Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task.”
I admit … I like doubt <on occasion>.
Rather than have blinding confidence all the time I like a world viewed through a filter with some doubt.
Maybe we shouldn’t look at doubt as an insidious feeling inside of us … maybe we should simply accept doubt as one of our ongoing valuable partners in Life.
For it is often through the filter of doubt we gain some uncertainty, curiosity, mild skepticism, and some resilience to absorb problems and weave our way thru the Life puzzles of ambiguity.
Doubt makes new from what is … it shapes what could be … and creates expression and even encourages us to challenge smartly <not foolishly> and celebrate <with understanding that it is but a moment in time>.
As we manage to work our way thru the maze of inherent dangers in Life, let’s call this ‘the work in the dark’, to … well … simply stay afloat in the tidal wave of everyday shit <and everyday shit people> doubt can become an anchor … or it can be the life saver.
Doubt may be the muscle which forces us to see the truths that enable us to make our way through the maze.
“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.”
Maybe doubt has an underserved bad reputation. Sure, when doubt leads to indecisiveness it is a definite hindrance … especially in a world in which confidence and decisiveness is valued to inordinate levels.
But, let’s face it; doubt can be a good thing.
Conceptually it is highly correlated with intelligence because doubt translates into awareness of alternative thought and exploration.
Doubt can also insure some quality of character <because the line between confidence and stubborn arrogance is razor thin>.
Doubt can also provide smart hesitation … avoid the wrong step and the wrong path because there is this niggling doubt which forces you to looking at things honestly to see if the next action was the best action.
I would like to point out that Doubt is not really the problem. It is actually how we respond to our doubt … in this case … paralysis.
And the root of paralysis really isn’t doubt but … uhm … the old “self” word.
What a tricky little bugger.
If only the brain had one specific muscle called ‘self’ <which had esteem, interest, attitudes, actualization, etc.> which we could exercise and strengthen and focus on.
No such thing.
The entire brain is an intricate wired mesh of muscles & things & thoughts all working together to create our sense of self.
There isn’t just one thing we can isolate for self-doubt.
I read somewhere that self-doubt is the opposite of what is known as “self-efficacy.”
Self-efficacy is the belief that you can successfully use your skills and abilities to achieve a desired result.
And if that is true than maybe doubt isn’t a bad thing … it is a counterbalance to this self-efficacy thing. It balances us out.
What helps me out on that thought is the fact that people with perfectly good self-esteem have self-doubt … and people with perfectly bad self-esteem also have self-doubt ,although not always>.
The point? Almost all of us experience self doubt.
All that said.
Here is what I love about the opening quote — doubt as our passion.
The fact that doubt can drive us … be the engine to improvement, enlightenment, curiosity and being the best we can be.
This means that self-doubt serves a real functional purpose.
I have written a shitload about doubt … and what I do know as a Life Truth is that someone can’t simply banish self-doubt from the mind. Whether we want to or not … it will always remain there somewhere in your brain <and thinking>.
This also means I know, as a self-evident truth, that any article that tells you that you can … is lying.
It’s about balance.
Balance … even when bringing confidence into this discussion.
There are a shitload of articles about how more confidence means better performance.
Wrong <wrong, wrong, wrong .,,,,,. >
Too much self-confidence can result in a lack of focus and drive <you have falsely assumed you will be good enough and do not work as hard as you could> and this inevitably creates increased opportunities for mistakes.
Doubt can not only increase how much effort you are willing to invest … in addition it keeps you aware of things you may be missing <instead of the sometimes blind confidence>.
Don’t doubt that Doubt has a role in being the best you can be.
I sometimes believe we all lose our grip on the distinction between the bad and the new … what I mean is that when things feel bad we automatically think we have done something wrong or that something is actually going wrong … when instead it just may be we are in the flux of change and something new.
New always creates discomfort and it would behoove us to discern the newness from the badness <which permits doubt to rear it ugly head>.
Lots of words today simply to say “I admit … I like doubt <on occasion>”.
=== Other things I have written about Doubt <and overconfidence> ====