The 5 Positive Powers of Self-Doubt

By Dan Rockwell from Leadership Freak Blog   Article

“If you grapple with self-doubt, keep reading. If you don’t grapple with it, you’re dangerous. Experts sing, “Believe in yourself,” However, unquestioned self-belief produces self-serving leaders who won’t adapt. Tom Petty captures the experience of many in, “Saving Grace,” when he sings, “You’re confident but not really sure.”

Confident but not sure is better than blind belief.

Self-doubt has its benefits. Robert Sutton in, Good Boss Bad Boss, says, “The best bosses dance on the edge of overconfidence, but a healthy dose of self-doubt and humility saves them from turning arrogant and pigheaded. Bosses who fail to strike this balance are incompetent, dangerous to follow, and downright demeaning.”

Move forward in spite of doubt.
Worry if you’re not worried.

Believe in yourself enough to bring self-doubt with you into decisions and commitments. “The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it’s not without doubt but in spite of doubt,” Rollo May. …

The 5 positive powers of healthy self-doubt:

  1. Motivates preparation. Useful self-doubt doesn’t paralyze it motivates.
  2. Humbles the heart.
  3. Opens the mind.
  4. Invites others in.
  5. Builds confidence in others. You’re trustworthy if challenges give you pause.”


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