The curse of second-guessing

29 Jul

I have this friend, see. Let’s call him AR (short for Anal Retentive).

Funnypictureleftfootcat

AR’s a decent dude. But his obsessive compulsive tendencies can drive me up the wall at times. It’s good to have high standards and strive for perfection. Sometimes, though, I wonder why he puts Pulitzer-Prize winning effort into pithy blurbs no one will remember months down the line.

But humans aren’t perfect, ergo we’re never going to reach absolute perfection.

Not that I’m not capable of being critical. AR tends to be critical of external things – I direct all my criticism internally and end up spending too much time second-guessing myself.

Am I good enough?
Will I ever be good enough?
Shouldn’t I be doing more with my blessings?

It’d be nice to be a cat. They don’t spend a lot of time navel-gazing and worrying. They go out, eat, sleep and procreate without lying about pondering their own self-worth.

So I ask the ALMIGHTY GOOGLE (I’d ask God but I needed a slightly faster answer) what do I do to stop second-guessing myself.

I find this. A nice little PDF entitled "Break the Curse of Second-Guessing Yourself".

My favourite part is where it explains the difference between self-criticism(bad) and self-reflection(good).

Second-guessing, or self-criticism, is a destructive habit. Self-criticism
wastes your time and erodes your self-trust, confidence, and personal
power. It can spiral into a vicious downward cycle that undermines your
success and satisfaction. Ouch.

Self-reflection is the opposite of second-guessing. Self-reflection benefits
you. When you unplug from today’s fast pace to consider your intentions,
behavior, and impact, you enrich your creativity, contribution, and
fulfillment. As you explore new options, you improve your performance.
Many models of leadership identify this kind of self-reflection as a core
competence.

It’s normal to have moments of self-doubt and insecurity. The key here, then, is to go on despite all that.

And break out of the habit of worrying.

Like my friend Dave said to me recently when something fell through, "Just have faith." In the end, everything works out for good and if I’m patient, trust and do my best despite the circumstances, things will sort themselves out if I let them.

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2 Responses to “The curse of second-guessing”

  1. DC July 30, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    … then you put the left foot out.

  2. Dabido July 31, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    Just procrastinate like me. Eventually everything works itself out or you get sacked. It’s a wild ride either way! 🙂

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