Who else feels a constant tug between confidence and doubt in this business? What if research shows that's exactly what you SHOULD be feeling?
Check out this one-page article on an NPR story that aired last week, Can You Think Your Way To That Hole in One?
It details the research of Jessica Witt at Purdue University and Tim Woodman at Bangor University in Wales, and the delicate balance between confidence and uncertainty.
In her study, Witt, among other things, used lighting in a laboratory setting to manipulate the perception a golfer would have of a hole. She found that golfers tend to do better when they believe the hole is larger, or more achievable.
Of course I thought immediately of writing. The way writing has opened up to seemingly "regular" people (i.e., those not necessarily trained as writers) over the last decades certainly makes me feel confident about my abilities. Who hasn't read a published book and thought, "I can do that!"?
But as we all know as writers, if we were to pile up those "I can do that" books, they'd be no match for the tower of titles that astound, impress, and amaze us. The coolest part of this story: That doubt is a GOOD THING, too.
The article also mentions the research of Tim Woodman at Bangor University in Wales, which shows that confidence doesn't GUARANTEE performance. "The more confident you are, the better-- up to a certain point,"Woodman states.
He continues, "If you're good at something but you doubt yourself a little bit, you're more likely to try that bit harder."
What do you think?
How do you balance confidence and uncertainty in writing, careers, and life?