Doubtless Doubt Some
In ‘Double Doubt’ , ‘tis nobler wrote:
Wherever there’s a way to learn, there’s a will to doubt. Be in no doubt that doubt has a large opportunity cost, particularly from the things that doubt prevents you from doing. It’s not possible to simply dismiss your doubts; however, doubling up on your doubts could be a solution. If you have doubts about your learning and/or abilities, then why not doubt your doubts?
Research has suggested that it’s better to question your doubts – be doubtful about them – and, through this internal interrogation, turn the certainty that you cannot into a possibility that you can. Think of this as untying the ‘not’ and discarding it.
Doubtless, doubting less by doubting your doubts is important. It remains a question of balance – being doubt-full may be just as worrisome as being doubt-free, for doubt can also have a positive effect on performance. But, as with all aspects of the learning and change landscape, it’s not a straightforward and simple relationship. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, you’ll have to find your own way.
Introducing doubts can benefit performance on simple tasks or more complex tasks that have become automated through substantial practice. There is no clear explanation for this, although motivation plays a central role. The arrival of doubt could prevent complacency, increase task focus or reduce the likelihood of distractions. If tasks are not simple or automated, doubt could increase conscious/intentional effort and this type of manual control is resource-intensive; performance is not enhanced as all effort is directed at just maintaining performance.
If doubt strangles your effort or enjoyment, it can be the bane of your life. However, some doubt, doubts that you can either doubt or manage, might be a blessing. And, when faced with bane or blessing, you should follow Tanya Davis’s advice – ‘Please Bless’:
Doubt less in order to do, then doubt some in order to do well. Doubt your doubts but never doubt your capacity to use your remaining doubts to do better. Are you in any doubt?