The Delicate Balance of Confidence and Doubt

  • -
confidence and doubt appreciative strategies

The Delicate Balance of Confidence and Doubt

Tags : 

Open a discussion about confidence and you might find that many people are interested to obtain more. When it comes to doubt those same people might suggest that they need fewer of those thoughts. Is there a healthy balance between confidence and doubt?

Nearly 20 years ago one of my favorite motivational zingers was to say, “No doubt!” Any time during a discussion about accomplishments, goals, or what to do next it was game on for this playful banter. It seemed to add a little spice to what otherwise might have been just another conversation.

In fact, looking back, a number of my colleagues often returned the gesture. In some of our workplace circles it was commonplace. It was a saying to close a conversation or make emphasis on a particular point. I’m not sure who started it, but it became a tiny part of our culture.

Confidence and Doubt

Confidence is important and suggesting that you can accomplish something without any doubt might suggest you have plenty of it. Sometimes though, confidence might be confused with absolute certainty your game plan will work.

We know that confidence develops from self-esteem and self-efficacy built across time. We make the attempt, we have success and then we try something a little riskier or bigger. Sure we might not always hit the mark but with successive attempts we learn that our effort and focus can pay off.

Building confidence is important, it helps us to grow, and when we approach the next obstacle without doubt our drive to succeed might be greater. With a lot of confidence we might become certain.

Being Certain

In life, confidence and doubt play a bit of tug-of-war. When we believe that we’ve removed all doubt, we are certain.

This certainty might suggest a lack of fear. Having no fear or little regard for consequences might create a new problem; wearing blinders to what might become a stark reality.

With blinders on you might be certain you are the only vendor with a winning proposal, the perfect person for the job, or that the need for your skill-set will never diminish.

Blinders and certainty might lead to a big surprise.

No doubt.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more