February 24, 2020
When I googled ‘doubt and creativity’ I was surprised to find that half the results were about ‘Overcoming doubt as the enemy of creativity’, and the other half were about ‘Embracing doubt as a fuel for creativity’.
I say I was surprised, but also pleased because it strengthened the point I want to make in this article: that there’s a fine line between a healthy and unhealthy amount of doubt – specifically when coming up with ideas.
Too much doubt can lead to a lack of confidence, and will only serve to fuel your fear of failure.
Not enough doubt can make you overconfident and blind to other points of view and perspectives.
The right amount of doubt will force you to question preconceptions and to challenge the status quo. Ironically, questioning preconceptions is a form of courage and confidence; the opposite of doubt, but also the result of it.
I, of course, am all for having the right amount of doubt, for the very simple reason that in advertising, the first idea is not necessarily the best idea.
The first idea may be valid, but until you’ve pushed your thinking and exhausted every possibility, you should always doubt that it’s the only idea you can come up with.
With the right amount of doubt, you will then have the confidence to be decisive and trust your best thinking – once you’ve actually put in your best thinking. And that is how doubt can fuel creativity.