When In Doubt, Don’t!


I am a big believer in honoring the gut; trusting the first thought – even in spite of fear or doubt. Intuition helps us make good decisions and take worthwhile risks. In most cases, doubt, in and of itself need not be a show-stopper.

There are a handful of instances in which deferring to doubt is absolutely the way to go. Sometimes the slightest doubt about whether something is appropriate is your gut telling you…it isn’t! Here are my favorites. When in doubt, don’t :

Post that on social media. You know that awkward moment when scrolling through the Facebook feed and there is a post that over-shares, or a bad moment of TMI, that just makes you cringe? No one wants to be that person. If you are unsure whether or not something should be shared online, don’t post it!

Wear that to work. We have all been there: Pulled something out of the closet in the morning and wondered whether or not it is ‘too’ anything to wear to work (read: too short, too low, too high, too sheer, too sexy, too tight).  Chances are, it is! Choose something that you are certain works for work.

Have another drink. At a business-social function, if you wonder whether or not you should have another drink…that is a sign that it may be time to pick up a glass of water instead. It is always best to err on the safe side of inebriation when you are out with clients and colleagues.

Say it via text or email. Engagement is key, and communication has its challenges. So if there is a shadow of a doubt that the recipient of your text or email message you compose will fully understand it, don’t hit send! Pick up the phone and call, or have a face-to-face chat. Mix-ups over technological miscommunication is becoming more and more common, unnecessarily.

Can you think of any other situations where “When in doubt, don’t” is advisable?


About Kali Patrice

Kali Patrice is the founder of The Image Studios, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in branding and image communication. She blogs through “Successful Expression” to share fresh ways to share insights about image, personal branding and self-expression.