To me, doubt is a very important part of who I am. I find that doubt has helped me avoid making many costly mistakes I might otherwise have done, simply because I’ve sat down, looked at the situation, and asked, “Why should I do this?”
In my opinion, doubting is a good thing and often a sign of wisdom and maturity. You should never believe everything everyone says, partly because there’s a lot of bullshit out there, partly because there are a lot of contradictory messages (you can’t be both a theist and an atheist, for example).
Because of my inclination to doubt, however, I can be consumed by fears and insecurities, even if I have no good reason to feel that way. It’s easy for me to worry about what other people might think about my writing, my ideas, my appearance, my actions, etc. This kind of doubt restricts me, keeps me from doing what I need to do.
The difference between good doubt and bad doubt is this: Good doubt clarifies what you need to do, who you need to be, what you need to believe, while bad doubt obscures your actions, your personality, and your beliefs.
Think of yourself as a fossil that was recently dug up. Depending on how far down you were buried, you might be very dirty, making it hard to tell what you are. You could be anything at this point.
Now imagine doubt as the brush used to clean off fossils. You apply doubt to yourself to find out what you believe, who you are, and what you need to do. The more you apply doubt, the more you will come to understand yourself, although at times it may be confusing.
I don’t know how much of this made sense. Would love to hear some of y’all’s thoughts in the comments on doubt and the ways in which it can help or hurt us.