3 Ways to Trust Yourself
Learn to not trust yourself.
Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman teaches you can’t trust yourself.
“… we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”
Trusting yourself is reliable when addressing personal values. Other than that, don’t trust yourself. Self-distrust protects you from cognitive bias.
Don’t trust yourself most of the time.
Daniel Kahneman quotes:
“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
“The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.”
“We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.”
“The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.”
“An unbiased appreciation of uncertainty is a cornerstone of rationality–but it is not what people and organizations want.”
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.”
3 ways to trust yourself:
#1. Practice confident self-doubt.
Consistently whisper to yourself, “I could be wrong.” or, “They could be right.”
#2. Summarize your position before discussion.
Before teams discuss an issue, ask each member to write a summary of their position. “The standard practice of open discussions gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them.” Kahneman
3. Develop three options.
Eliminate the practice of binary decisions. “Yes or no,” speeds simple decisions. Decisions become choices when you develop several options.
“… when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.” Kahneman
How might people practice healthy self-doubt?
Self-Deception: Feeling Right and Being Wrong
Why Leaders Don’t Think Straight
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Thank you for making Daniel Kahneman so neatly accessible to your large audience.
His book, Thinking, Fast and Slow will rock anyone’s world. Thanks Robert.
“… we can be blind to the obvious, …” But how often does that happen–1% of the tme?
“Trusting yourself is reliable when addressing personal values. Other than that, don’t trust yourself.” Really? If you can’t trust your core beliefs, you’re going to be uncertain, wishy-washy, and a flip-flopper on most things.
“Eliminate the practice of binary decisions. ‘Yes or no,’ speeds simple decisions.” There is nothing wrong with yes-no decisions. After you have done your due diligence, you have to decide—yes or no.
“… when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.” Kahneman—Really? How often does that happen. I can’t think of any examples of that happening in my personal life.
I do like Kahneman”s #2 suggestion.
As always, I’m glad you joined in today and appreciate your insights.
Can you expand on # 3..I’m not too familiar with binary decisions, and my answers tend to be more yes or no.
Such a relief to come across some honest advice in these times of “be proud!”, “be confident!”, “trust yourself!”, “follow your dreams!”. We are so easily deceived — and are deceiving others with all these shallow, hollow, feel-good phrases. Not to trust yourself, but rather to verify and get the implicit assumptions explicit is not weak, it’s wisdom. Thank you Dan!
Mr. Kahneman’s statements seem appropriate for some business situations. We shouldn’t be cocky. I appreciate that you put a qualifier at the start: “Trusting yourself is reliable when addressing personal values. Other than that, don’t trust yourself.” But the quotes sound like blanket statements to me. They aren’t so appropriate for deeper issues. Believing that the world might not make any sense could be taken as saying that there is no God who brings order. Saying that we don’t understand the past as well as we think we do could be taken as saying there is no such thing as reliable revealed Scripture, and it could also be taken as an opposite to the idea that, if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it”? Is Mr. Kahneman totally ignoring the spiritual realm? Questions of sin, guilt, salvation, a Savior, and my responsibility to God are of supreme importance. I am incapable of attaching too much importance to them.