Posts Tagged ‘doubt’

Juggling Doubts

December 16th, 2011 | Specific | 0 Comments

It’s not that there are doubts about your ability to juggle, although these doubts could very well be justified.

Nor is it that juggling doubts is a method for resolving them.  Doubtless, you will recall that ‘tis nobler has already suggested that ‘double doubting’ is a more potent technique for reducing doubts than juggling could ever be:

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…..Rather than learning in the shadows of self-doubt, realise that these doubts do not reflect certainties but simply possibilities that can be managed and reduced, if not eliminated. Fail to doubt your doubts and they may become self-fulfilling prophecies; doubt your doubts and become self-fulfilling.

You might also recall that ‘tis nobler noted that ‘shouting’ was useless in coping with doubts, as useless as juggling:

Strenuous advocacy can be a reflection of personal uncertainty.  In these circumstances, such ‘shouting’ is designed to reduce doubts – a sort of “I must be right because I am stressing my ‘rightness’ so forcefully.”  Trying to reduce your doubts by committing more strongly to that which you doubt has an even stronger influence on those topics/skills/behaviours that you deem more important.  If it’s more important to you, you’ll ‘shout’ more often and more loudly.

The theme of this post is the doubts that arise from figuratively ‘juggling’ – trying to keep as many things going as possible and being pulled from one to the next in a never-ending struggle that aims to balance competing priorities, problems or personalities.  Of course, actual juggling is itself a skill and, within reason, it is possible to keep the balls in the air:

But most of us struggle with ‘juggling’ for task-related and/or social demands can exceed our capacity and/or capability at times.  It is reasonable to think that, in these ambiguously trying circumstances, the things that we hold most dear or identify with the most become even more important to us.  However, some recent research has produced evidence that such circumstances can make us doubt our ‘mission’ rather than strengthen it.

It’s interesting to wonder whether these ‘juggling’ doubts can themselves be a coping mechanism, a way to refresh and reinvigorate rather than raise the white flag.  ‘tis nobler has written about the relationship between the type of task and the effect of doubt:

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.

Juggling is an everyday feature of life, whether you are juggling tasks, demands, workload, decisions, responsibilities or people.  With balance tantalisingly out of reach, the effort to achieve balance continues on and on.  This can be wearing as this constant struggle can encourage doubts to enter.  Doubtful juggling and juggling doubts combine to drag you down.

Juggle because you can’t avoid it.  Doubt because you can’t avoid it.  Find your own solution because you must.

You Raise Me Up

August 22nd, 2011 | Specific | 0 Comments

When describing the labyrinthine nature of experiential learning and behavioural change, ‘tis nobler mentioned Daedalus and his son Icarus.  Daedalus was the designer of the Labyrinth that housed the Minotaur.

Icarus is an excellent example for today’s topic – being raised up – which is about the ways and attendant dangers in which your performance and adherence to self management can be elevated by what you know about others.  It all depends on where you start.

Icarus was ‘raised up’ by the joy of flight and the escape from imprisonment that his father had enabled by the making of artificial wings.  As a result of over-exuberance, Icarus flew too close to the sun, something his father had warned him explicitly to avoid, and the wax holding his wings together melted.  He crashed into the sea and was killed.

And this is where the extra research ‘tis nobler undertook (without hacking into Daedalus’ voicemail) shows the connection with some recent research.  It seems that Icarus was initially doubtful of his father’s plan but seeing Daedalus take to the skies removed these doubts.  If you have doubts or anxieties, knowing that others can perform translates into a belief that you can also perform, another example of priming, this time priming with competency.  Don’t forget that ‘tis nobler has already explored another way to combat doubt and that is to doubt your doubts.

Replacing doubts with self belief is great; however, priming with competency in the absence of doubts can lead to overconfidence.  In the first instance, priming calibrates you by raising you up to where you actually belong whereas in the second instance, priming can miscalibrate you by raising you up beyond your capabilities.  As noted, it all depends on where you start.

That’s why, in this song, there needs to be a small change to the lyrics – You raise me up to more than I (thought I) can be:

When assailed by doubts or anxieties, prepare yourself to perform by making reasonable relative comparisons.  These have been shown to raise you up to where you can be.  If these comparisons are unreasonable or unnecessary (for you already are where you should be), they may raise you up beyond where you should be.

And we all know what happened to Icarus!

Doubtless Doubt Some

March 28th, 2011 | Specific | 0 Comments

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’:

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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?

Double Doubt

July 19th, 2010 | Specific | 0 Comments

As an experiential learner, there is no doubt.  Sorry, there is no doubt that I didn’t finish that sentence.

As an experiential learner, there is no doubt that you will have doubts.  Doubtless, you will often be doubtful.  Can I do this?  What will happen if I mess it up?  Won’t they laugh at me?  What should I do next?  Am I stupid?  Why can’t I get the hang of this?  Why am I so clumsy?  It’s very doubtful that these doubting questions are all the doubts you will have.  Wherever there’s a way to learn, there’s a will to doubt.

Doubt takes off in many directions; it can lead to anguish, fear, hesitation or regret.  Be in no doubt that doubt has a large opportunity cost, particularly from the things that doubt prevents you from doing.  It is an effort to overcome doubt and walk through the door:

But ‘walking through the door’ is not always easily achievable – doubt can dominate.  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.

Rather than learning in the shadows of self-doubt, realise that these doubts do not reflect certainties but simply possibilities that can be managed and reduced, if not eliminated.  Fail to doubt your doubts and they may become self-fulfilling prophecies; doubt your doubts and become self-fulfilling.  Do you have any doubts about your doubts?  You do – that’s great news!