One of the most important components of the inner game of communication is speaking with clarity. We all believe in a leader who has clarity and conviction. When you speak with clarity, it will create trust and help others easily understand what you say. One of the common blocks that come in the way of speaking with clarity is the double doubting mindset. A double doubting mindset is doubting every decision you make. When you double doubt yourself, people have no clarity around what you communicate. One of my managers, Ram gets super excited about building a certain software product. The project gets scheduled, and everyone starts to work on it. A month later, he double doubts the importance of the project, scraps it, and starts a new one. My team always stayed confused as a result.
The second way it shows in your communication is that you probably ask too many questions. I would tell Peter, a fellow engineer I worked with that “we need to design a software that goes from point A to point B. The business rule is you go straight, and you make one right turn.” So Peter asks the obvious question. “Do I make one right turn or two right turns?” And I respond, “it is in the business rule. You make one right turn.” When you come from a double-doubting mindset, you ask an obvious question out of lack of trust in what you heard.
Lastly, a double-doubting mindset also impacts you personally. You struggle to make simple decisions. My friend, Raj, pulls his hair out to make simple decisions, such as booking an air ticket to fly to India. He also stays away from making more complicated decisions, such as buying a home, thereby losing investment opportunities. In order to overcome the double doubting mindset, we have to first determine the root cause. When I was 18 years old, I swore to my friends that I was a fast bowler in cricket. Those were the times I believed in myself. However, I bombed at a school level competition when I couldn’t bowl one ball straight. My friends said, “you loser, don’t ever show up at the cricket grounds.” I felt deeply ashamed to a point where it traumatized me as a kid. I never played cricket again. The experience subconsciously planted a formula in my head that I can’t believe in myself. Since then, I started double doubting every decision I made as I was subconsciously afraid that I would be traumatized if I failed at something. The root cause of the double-doubting mindset is a traumatic situation experienced in the past.
Now, take a moment to think about a traumatic experience you faced in the past that made you come with a formula that you can’t believe in yourself. Look back at your past traumatic experience and ask yourself, how true is your formula that you can’t believe in yourself? In my scenario, it’s not true at all. The truth is that I couldn’t bowl a straight ball because I never practiced on a certain type of ground.
The next time you catch yourself double doubting, remind yourself that the formula that you can’t believe in yourself isn’t true. Create a new formula that every decision you make is the best decision ever. So trust your decision. Sachin Tendulkar says, every time he went out to bat, he never double-doubted any shot that he made because he knew he made the best decision he could, based on what he knew. When you begin to trust your decisions, it will help you gain clarity. Clarity creates trust and helps others easily understand what you say. In summary, we explored the impact of a double-doubting mindset and ways to overcome it so others will experience greater clarity in your communication.