Hope you have read the previous blog "How to benefit from wandering". There I mentioned that we often get caught up by thoughts then drift away in imaginations. Not criticising mind-wandering but here to simply provide some ideas about how to benefit from it. If mind-wandering is inevitable, we can still control the process and make it more efficient and exciting.
I realise that many of my thoughts are doubts, primarily when interacting with other people. What they did or what they said easily raise a doubt in my mind. Once a suspicion is planted, it sprouts quickly and become a whole story that looks so real. Then, based on the story, comes judgement so roughly without logical thinking and reasoning.
Having doubts is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is a kind of self-protection system that can be triggered when facing potential risks. However, some people have a more sensitive system than others. It is OK to have a couple of doubts in a day, but if we have countless doubts, if we are living in doubts, we may struggle with enjoying our daily life. We may find it hard to trust other people, or make undesirable decisions based on our feelings rather than reasoning.
Banks of the Seine at Aregenteuil 丨Copy with Procreate 丨Kun Lu
So, how to mitigate the negative influence of doubts? If humans are born to be skeptical, why not utilise doubt against doubt? Doubt your doubts. Adding one more step before we dig deeper into our doubt by analysing the doubt itself rather than the subject of doubt. Here, I breakdown this process into five questions:
Am I having a doubt/doubts?
Is it realistic?
Why I am having the doubt/doubts?
Do I have any evidence?
If yes, what is the evidence? / If not, is it worth to search for?
This method does not eliminate doubts once and for all, but it helps to discard those that have no value to our lives. Creating awareness is the first step but also the most critical step. Once we are aware of our doubts, then we are able to identify then actively switch our thinking patterns from “feeling” to logic. As I go through the above checklist myself at times of uncertainty, I mostly ended up finding the doubt isn’t worth searching the evidence for, and I passed and moved on immediately. It is worth mention that confirmation bias could potentially be a pitfall in Q4 and Q5.
After all the trouble illustrated, communication is another straightforward way to solve doubts. Why not, ASK? Doubt is a form of thoughts; a sour fruit of anxiety; a way of disbelief, or a spark of something new.