How To Overcome Your Doubts ?

One of the most unforgivable crimes that an individual can commit towards oneself is to be unable to get rid of one’s doubts in time. Think about those opportunities, missed just because you were not sure about something, only to be reminded of your blunders years later, with a guilt and remorse about that which could have been your life.
How to Overcome Your Doubts ?
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Doubt and Indecision are two perennial companions of intelligence. It is largely because we are able to think about multiple objectives, factors and possibilities - a manifestation of intelligence - that it becomes difficult to decide, or feel confident.

Doubts in Decision Making

We experience doubt when we are faced with a question, the answer of which we are not sure about. For this to happen, there are two pre-requisites – you should be able to ask yourself a question, and you must not be capable enough to answer it.

Thus, when a person lacks the intelligence to ask himself a question, he

is likely to be free of doubt. For example, if you want to invest in equity, because your friend also invested in it last year and made 25% returns, and if you are unable to ask yourself as to whether the last year’s performance be repeated this year too, then you will not have any doubt. You will invest confidently, irrespective of what happens later. However, if you are intelligent enough to think about the possibility of stock value going down, you will have a doubt. Then, unless you are able to find out for yourself an answer to the likely changes in the market, you will be full of doubt, and you may never invest at all, because of the indecision. Somehow, if you are able to come to a conclusion, thanks to your own analysis or some expert’s advice, then you may begin to feel confident again, and be able to take a decision to invest.

In this way, doubts, which begin as a result of application of intelligence, can prevent you from taking decisions and moving in any direction. This can often be as bad, if not more, than the possibility of a wrong decision being taken. Hence the need for getting rid of doubt and indecision from our system.

Doubts are a part and parcel of our everyday life. We face them in the market when buying some good. We also face them in more important decisions of life, like whether to get married or not. However, probably, the worst examples of doubts are those where we have to make a value judgement. For example, if you find that a friend has committed a crime, you will always be faced with a dilemma as to whether you should keep the information with you and protect your friend, or whether you should report it to the authorities like a good citizen. In such matters, it may become very difficult to take a decision.

Getting rid of Doubts

To begin with, it would be an honest confession to say that it is near impossible to get rid of all doubts

in your life. However, that does not undermine the need to develop clear priorities and develop a habit of clear thinking, factors that are instrumental in keeping your doubts to the minimum.

The first habit that can make the whole life much easier, is to develop a habit of being clear in our priorities. A perennial shortcoming that many of us suffer from, is the inability to decide our priorities, and then be able to give up the lesser priorities in favor of those that take precedence. The cornerstone of this remedy lies in the acceptance of the fact that we cannot get everything in life.

The second habit that will help is the ability to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.  Often doubts exist because of ignorance combined with the ignorance about our ignorance. Once you are aware that you do not know, further course of action becomes simple enough – find a way of knowing what you do not know.

Third habit that can help you overcome a tendency of indecision is the realization that in most spheres of life, it is usually not possible to become absolutely certain. Thus one needs to be able to live with a certain degree of uncertainty. What is important is the realization the there is a difference between uncertainty and doubt. Uncertainty need not necessarily lead to indecision. A person’s ability to take a decision amidst uncertainty depends upon his ability to take risks. Thus one needs to be clear in his preferences between risky action and safe inaction, and decide accordingly.

The fourth learning that we all need to contain our doubts, is to understand the  values that we stand for, and the extent to which we are ready to go to preserve those values. These values are the ones that many a times help us decide what is correct and what is not. A strong faith in these values is a shield against doubt and uncertainty in difficult times of life.

Lastly, there is a certain degree of self-confidence that is essential for any decision making. Unless you have the confidence in your ability to take a decision, you can never get rid of doubt. Self-confidence cannot be developed by theoretical discussions. It can only be attained once you actually take some decisions in difficult circumstances that prove to be correct by the test of time.

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