Taking care of your salience landscape and beautifying its surroundings unavoidably comes with the necessity to decide what comes in and what stays out. When decision making is involved, most of the time the space for doubt opens up. Day after day, doubt occupies a big part of our time. We meet different types of doubt, small and life-changing decisions are always accompanied by this insecure companion. We can actively participate in the process, but most of it is happening outside of our awareness. There seems to be a double standard when it comes to doubt. On one hand we are fully opposed to this state but on the other - there is a prevailing plea for the inclusion of doubt and failing as integral part of life. This inconsistent relationship with doubt can lead to some struggles when we encounter it. And as it happens every day, we’d better find a way to be on good terms with the state of doubt.
Objectively speaking we are poorly equipped when it comes to uncertainty. It also has a tendency to escape the conscious being and transform into mood. Perhaps what comes across as scepticism, sarcasm, resentment or anger is just a manifestation of the inner doubt unconsciously showing through these emotions for the lack of the better way to express it. The dangerous part is when the source of the emotion is not visible for the owner, nothing can be addressed to resolve the doubt. The only thing that is left is raw emotion, a mood that affects everything around.
Having doubts is a useful state to be in. While being lost we are processing and preparing for what might happen. Doubts are our protection mechanisms, making sure we don’t get into trouble. They are our inner cartographers responsible for the map-making, movement and itinerary planing. But because the longing for destination needs guarantees, mostly we chose for the path with as least resistance as possible. The discovery of the off-road vistas are the sacrifice to pay. The question is how can we grow and develop without stepping off the pre-planned routes and find something new? To quote Shakespeare our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. The only thing that is certain is that there is no certainty about anything we encounter, everything is in movement of change, affect and exchange. Longing for certainty is just like chasing your own tail. Learning how to hold the doubt will eventually bring us in touch with how things really are. Uncertain. Unstable. Full of possibilities.
We are seduced by certainty, such an appealing construct that promises us the whole picture here and now. But that is merely an illusion that is doomed to fail. Can we perhaps alter our relationship with doubts and make them our allies and cultivate doubt as a virtue?
Doubt is an eternal source of challenge, it contains magical accumulation of energy that brings us in contact with ourselves and brings movement into being. Uncertainty is where we allow the experience of others to become part of our thinking. We take in perspectives of others and expand our understanding of the situation. When we are in doubt we can experience that different parts within us have different agendas and that’s an exciting thing to feel. It is a window into the possibilities without a right or wrong choice. Practicing intellectual humility means to be able to admit our own not-knowing and accept the limitations of thinking. I believe that being able to virtuously explore the expansion which doubt brings in, is a necessary skill for every salience landscaper to have. It provides the possibility to pick and chose what feels right rather than go with what’s already at hand.