i Have No Idea What i’m Doing

You know the meme, right? A panting dog with human tie in front of a computer? This one:

I feel like this sometimes. Always have. More often than not in recent times. I sometimes felt it when teaching. It’s five minutes before class and the resources you thought were amazing don’t look as stellar as you thought they were. They might downright suck once the students get their hands on them. On one hand it’s probably healthy to doubt yourself at times; it gives you time to reflect and change your actions and practice. On the other hand it can drag you down to the nadir of your professional existence…hahahaha. You have to laugh or you would cry.

We’re talking doubt. Doubt.

  • a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
When you doubt something, someone, or yourself you are questioning what is being presented to you as truth or fact. In essence, questioning is good. Question your plan for today’s lesson. Question a professional opinion given as fact. Question the status. When you frame doubt as an opportunity for investigative questioning and research then doubt is, hitherto, good.
Data can dissolve doubt.

In a psychologytoday article Hank Davis states that doubt is “To think critically before accepting an idea. What better evidence of human mental grandeur is there?” Critical thinking…..now there’s a phrase that’s put on a flowery pedestal in the education world. We want our students to be critical thinkers; to objectively analyse an issue to form a judgment. Mr. Davis lauds doubt as a more powerful word than faith. We call our daughters Faiths not Doubts. “Remember, in naming our daughters “Faith,” we glorify acceptance without proof.” Science as a body of knowledge would have failed thousands of years ago without doubt. Science is based on the pillars of doubt. Science wants doubt.

Columbia University, it is noted in the above article, has a course based around doubt called “Ignorance”. A course about what we don’t know. A focus on doubt, a direction of our intellectual spotlight on areas that need more attention.

Making Doubt Work For You

To celebrate doubt and to proclaim it from the rooftops that yes we, indeed, do possess doubt is to determine that “we have REAL WORK to do“. Let’s go. Let’s get on this. Right now.

You think you’re the bee’s knees? The cat’s pyjamas? Bringing doubt into your work life will “question your self-importance“. God’s gift? Think again. Then think some more. Celebrate the acknowledgement of failure and shortcomings. We have work to do to improve stuff.

An everydaypower article listed a succinct set of reasons why bringing doubt into your toolbox will help you in the long run.

  • You Work Harder and Achieve More
  • You Take Absolutely Nothing for Granted.
  • You Attract and Allow Compassion and Love
  • You Begin to See Just Where You Are Compromising
  • You Become Really Comfortable with the Unknown
  • You Don’t Believe Your Own BS
  • You Stay Committed to the Cause
  • You Stop Making Excuses and Become More Successful

A fine list to refer to when you think of doubt as a weakness. In the long run you’re using doubt to improve, learn, self-assess, and question.

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