Monday, April 28, 2008


The joy of doubt – almost seems like an oxymoron, but this was the title of an interesting article I read this weekend.

Many of us are plagued with doubt, especially in the early years of building our business when there are days when we question and second-guess ourselves on everything.

Writer Emma Cook however claims that “while uncertainty makes us fearful, embracing doubt sets us on the path of true creativity and personal growth.”

One of the challenges with doubt is that if you do not act, the doubt grows and you risk feeling immobilized. So taking action, is better than no action at all. Much also depends, say psychologists on our personality style and our comfort for living with ambiguity. There are those who plan, and those of us who are happier when situations are uncertain and emerging.

Yet it has been argued that doubt can have creative potential for all of us. In fact, a total absence of doubt is considered a much more worrying trait. Never doubting is risky. As Schmueli, a psychotherapist, shares “you’ve got to be able to continue thinking, and not accept things at face value. Doubt is an invitation to apply your mind and move forward.”

Several tips on making peace with doubt were offered:

• Doubt shows your mind is trying to tell you something. Trust it and don’t reject it.
• When overwhelmed by doubt, count to 20 while breathing in and out. Then stop counting. Allow your doubt to come back into your mind.
• If you feel paralyzed and indecisive, then set a timer for three minutes and externalize your doubts by writing them down rapidly. This process will help you to detach from your doubts – and move on.

Moving away from our fear of doubt can be liberating. Living with uncertainty can be a creative, vital and empowering. As someone once said “Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.”

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