Sometimes doubt a good thing and leads to critical thinking. At other times doubt serves as a stand-in for the truth.
Doubt is what conspiracy theorists offer in lieu of proof. If the truth’s uncomfortable then doubt can creep in more easily. Using doubt it’s easy to get people believing what they want to, instead of what’s real.
And when one doubt is resolved it’s easy to bring up another doubt and then another to keep avoiding the truth. Just keep going farther out and asking “What if …?”
With all the Olympic coverage lately, I started thinking about the medal winners minimizing self-doubt. “Can you do it?” is a question people ask themselves all the time. The winning top athletes have to minimize or eliminate the question.
At the highest level of competition, most of the “also ran” competitors probably worked on getting rid of self-doubt too, but just not quite well enough.