Without a Doubt

My post about doubt seems to have struck a nerve; I don’t usually get this much feedback from my posts. Let me try to sum it up:

I’m sorry you feel that way. You can get help.

Please don’t misunderstand: this isn’t depression of any kind. Depression is a much more serious matter. If you are feeling depressed, please reach out and ask for help.

I do have doubts, but they don’t overwhelm. The majority of my time is spent doing; another much smaller component of my productive time is spent thinking. The merest fraction of my time gives way to doubt. I suspect this is true for others, too.

Don’t waste your time on doubt.

There are indeed doubts that serve no constructive purpose: these must be identified and quickly banished.

Then there are doubts that illuminate blind spots: these must be cultivated to arrive at constructive self-criticism.

Doubts tend to accumulate when things go poorly, but I think self-criticism has a place even and especially when things go well, too.

Doubt isn’t specific to indie software developers.

That’s definitely true: doubt is a natural part of any creative process. I specifically mentioned indie software because I know it well and because I think it has qualities, like long days in quiet at a computer, that tend to isolate its practitioners beyond many related creative endeavors.

Is it wise to publicly admit one’s doubts?

This surprised me.

At a young age, we learn to project certainty in public and to manage our doubts in private. There are times when this is tactically required. Then again, there are times when it just doesn’t matter.

Moreover, I think our cultural inclination towards hiding doubt does us a great disservice. Everyone has doubts; knowing this is power.