00065: Self-Doubt & Second Guessing

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It’s 2006 in Arizona, USA and I’m attending a social retreat with my fraternity brothers. One of the fun activities we’re doing is tarot card and palm readings, and I just think this is a silly game I’m willing to play because ‘why not.’ 

When my turn comes, the palm readers starts to list many things about me. Most of them make giggle or raise an eyebrow. One, however, really strikes me. “No matter how good you are and/or how good you do, you will always doubt yourself and you will always second guess yourself.” I don’t laugh anymore because as soon as I hear the palm reader’s words my mind takes me to moments in my life where I have second guessed myself. 

Elementary school: A math competition. I shout the correct answer but the teacher asks if I’m sure. I said yes. The teacher asks again, and it is the tone used to make me feel insecure and second guess myself that makes me change my answer. I lose.

Secondary School: Speech tournament. I have been preparing for days. I study. I memorize monologues, patterns, short witty phrases, recall personal stories–speech techniques use for competition. Then, at the last minute I don’t trust in my preparation. I obtain third place.

College: Musical theatre show; I’m playing one of the leads. There is a song the fourth leads are singing. We have been doing this over, and over, and over. It’s perfect. Opening night, we are doing the show, the song starts, we are all singing. Right before my singing line comes, I start to “reassure myself” about the fact that I have a singing line coming, I better not mess it up. By the time I realized it, the spotlight is on me; my turn to sing the line has passed. It happens during the time I am “reassuring myself.” I am in my head second guessing myself.

Post College Life: I’ve been searching for a new/different job with an opportunity to move back to my home state. I interviewed… twice. They are offering me the job and instead of accepting it, I ask for two days to “think about it.” There is nothing to think about it. This is what I’ve been looking for. It takes me calling friends, family, and colleagues to reassure me that accepting the such job offering is right thing to do. And it is.

Today: I’m in the process of a very big decision. I sense that such decision will need to be made pretty soon. I’m already second guessing myself, though. Thinking that perhaps this is not the right thing to do, that perhaps I’m making a mistake. Thinking that I will regret making such decision in the near future. The difference is that I’m aware of my self-sabotage, self-doubt, and second guessing practices. Hence this blog entry. 

Second guessing myself is a mind trick that truly has hindered me in many ways. Worse, it hasn’t allow me to truly enjoy those moment in my life when I should had been incredibly proud of my accomplishments and my triumphs. This is not fun at all. It has been one of my greatest weaknesses. The only difference is that for the last few weeks I have been thinking about such negative practice. I have thought about it for a long time and even shared it with my neighbor. This means that I’m willing to work on changing such negative attitude. It means that I’m ready to accept it as a weakness and turn it into a strength. It means that I am ready to make the change.

And this time, I’m not self-doubting or second guessing myself.  #carlosmanuelspeaksthetruth. 

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