Good Doubt, Bad Doubt: What’s In Your Bucket?

Our complex lives require dozens of decisions daily. Some are simple, some are staggering in their complexity and significance. Whether it’s about what to believe, which road to take, what to purchase, who to trust, what to hold vs. release, how to spend your precious time, what to eat or wear, what to work on “becoming” personally, what risks to deal with, or how to plan your future, good decisions usually involve a measure of doubt in the process.

Doubt can be useful when it is part of a process resulting in acceptance of the truth. It can also result in the loss of something of great value. Belief in what is true liberates us to make high quality decisions and take positive action; whereas unresolved doubt often results in delay, confusion or stagnation. From your point of view, which types of doubt listed below might be helpful or harmful, and which are characteristic of you?

Fear-of-Loss Doubt (often based on past negative experience)
Consensus Doubt (“if this is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it”?)
Contrarian Doubt (“if it is popular or if you are for it, I’m against it”)
Convenience Doubt (easy skepticism which does not want to investigate, know the truth, or change)
Commitment Doubt (fear of making a commitment or a decision is the real fuel for disbelief)
Reactive Doubt (after making a decision, like a buyer’s remorse for imagined possible outcomes)
Incredulous Doubt (“this sounds too good to be true”)
Missouri Doubt (“I just have to be shown”; “I must see it to believe it”)
Arrogant Doubt (“If this was good, true, legitimate, I would already know about it”)
True Seekers Doubt (“I would really like to know the truth and I will do my diligence to get there”)
Proud Doubt (covers itself in a cloak of certainty: “I know I’m right so don’t try to show me I’m not”)
Complexity Doubt (“this is too difficult to understand, so just forget it”)
Simplicity Doubt (“could it really be that simple?”)
Mistrust Doubt (negative or hurtful events create wounds that color reality and obfuscate truth)
Negativity Doubt (A slow-hearted, grumbling disbelief in things that could be positive or helpful)
Misinformed Doubt (turf wars & agendas create false information which impede knowing the truth)

Have a chat with someone you love about your “doubt profile”. Be open to feedback on what is helpful or not in navigating life’s decisions.

In the world of finance, doubt can be your friend or enemy. The stakes are high. Healthy doubt leads through the haze of distortion and agenda, right on past opinion and paradigm, to a position of truth from which clear-headed and profitable decisions are possible. But unhealthy forms of doubt abound, paralyzing and rendering unable to use new tools, options, and strategies, and thus robbing of the abundance and peace of mind that would be the expectable result of grasping and implementing the research-based truth.