How is Doubt Serving You?
By: Mary Lee Gannon
You have doubt. You doubt yourself. You doubt others. You doubt your future. You doubt your business. You doubt your team. You doubt your children. You doubt your parents. You doubt your relationship. You doubt the weather. You doubt a whole lot more than you count on. How tiring is that?
Doubt is the dance between belief and disbelief. It is rooted in fear that something you have experienced will happen again. Either way it is an emotional state of indecision that can serve as good caution or it can impede getting what you really want. Doubt may cause people to hesitate before acting, continually “play it safe,” and never “pull the trigger.” Additionally, it may build walls of guardedness, pensiveness and defeated confidence that result in lack of fulfillment or passive aggressive behavior.
The truth is that when you doubt you are not sure of something. This can give you time to reassess a situation and make an informed decision. But when you continue to doubt without making a decision does it make things any better or give resolution on the issue? Generally not. It just keeps you “stuck” waiting for the ax to drop for the worst possible outcome. And often that outcome becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So try something different. Act as if what you truly want is already happening. Trust in the best from everyone and in every situation. Scary huh? What if the thing you feared the most could not possibly happen? Imagine that. How would you behave is you absolutely knew the people close to you truly had your best interest at heart. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? What business decisions would you make if your own internal voice and that of your experts could not be wrong? How would you conduct yourself in a relationship if you trusted that the other person absolutely loved you and wanted it to work as much as you do?
The point in all of this is that when you doubt – you make assumptions that are not reality. So allow for the best, behave as if everyone and everything had only good intentions and see what happens. When you do this you will behave differently. You will be accepting and open, not defensive or combative. You will be pleasant and kind, not holding back or negative. People will notice your change in behavior and two things will happen. They will either 1.) open up and behave differently too, or 2.) they will behave the same and you will see it differently now and make decisions accordingly. The good news is that you will move off the “stuck” position of doubt to openness to opportunity.
Replace the head trash of doubt with acceptance. Treat people and situations as if only the right thing for all concerned is already happening. Make decisions and lead as if no one is second guessing you or your team. And watch how people either change their behavior or you change your choices.
Mary Lee Gannon is the president of StartingOverNow.com – Leading Productivity Solutions for People and Organizations. Mary Lee is a graduate of The Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where within a short time she worked to the level of CEO. Services include: Workshops, Meeting Facilitation, Coaching, Webinars, Speaking and Management Consulting. Areas of Specialty: Organizational and Board Development / Meeting Facilitation / Productivity / Goal Setting / Leadership / Life and Career Transition / Strategic Direction / Time Management / Divorce / Purpose.