3 Ways to Positively Use Doubt in the Decision-making Process

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

We give Doubt way more influencing power over our decision-making than it deserves to have.

Doubt can stall us, stop us, or straight up sway us from following our dreams.

Even if we take the first steps towards our dreamy businesses, doubt likes to show back up on a regular basis, making us stutter and sidestep around important decisions.

There are a lot of things that can play into your doubt and sometimes it's hard to talk about it so generally because doubt can look and feel different to all of us.

I wanted to offer a different perspective on experiencing doubt.

Here are a few examples my clients have shared with me:

You have an idea and you need to decide whether to act on bringing it to life or not.

You have started something and need to decide the best course of action to move forward.

You have taken the first 3 steps and now it's time to take 3 more steps...which steps do you take??

In most examples of when doubt creeps in, you'll notice it's when you're in your head trying to make a decision. To put this more positively -

Doubt arises because you are being thoughtful.

You have multiple options, you are considering all the various paths you can take to give you a successful outcome. You're evaluating what you know, exploring new ideas, and weighing the potential success of each decision.

You've likely experienced this and had a negative response. That is because the outcomes are unknown. And with the unknown tags along fear, fear of not knowing the results of the choice you will make. When you carry in that fear, you begin to doubt the decision you will make.

Being thoughtful is a journey. What would happen if you allowed doubt to be a part of this journey, not as a negative force hindering your actions, but as an influence that guides you further into the thought process without the judgment of being Right or Wrong?

The next time you realize that doubts are a part of your thought process, revel in them - don't try to ignore them or set them aside. Each doubt has a purpose and if you chew on it for a bit, you'll find the way to the best possible solution and make an empowered decision.

How do you know if the doubt is being helpful or hurtful?

You can ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Is this doubt actually my fear of a failed outcome? If failure wasn't an options, how would I move forward?

2. Play devils advocate to your doubt. If that (doubt response) can happen, what is the opposite (fearless response) that can happen?

3. If the BEST possible outcome was the only outcome for each of these decisions, which one would I choose?

Being thoughtful is a journey that has many road stops along the way. Doubt can be one of those stops but just like the road between work and your home, if you make a stop at the grocery store you don't stay there. You get what you need and continue on home. It's okay to make a quick stop at doubt but pick up what you need to know and continue onward.

Allow your destination to be the BEST possible outcome!

And keep driving until you reach your destination.

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