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What I Learned from Second-Guessing Myself

Three tips to make a choice with clarity

Photo by 胡 卓亨 on Unsplash


We all do it from time to time. Some more than others but all in all it's human nature to second guess ourselves. However, most would say that when their second guess wins the place over the first thoughts and doesn't quite pan out how one envisioned, we want to kick ourselves.


Not long ago, I was second-guessing myself more and more. It was to the point I asked myself, "Why do you keep second-guessing everything lately". Well, I have the answer now.


I was second-guessing myself because I was in a state of growth. I was putting new boundaries in place and speaking up more than I used to. With this insight, I realized the second-guessing was a by-product of me not fully embracing who I truly am.


There was a point before all my counseling, deep meditations, and yoga where I had great ideas…that no one knew about. There was a point in life where I would rather not speak up for fear of explaining myself. And yes, there was even a point in my life where I would rather just give in the having to argue a point.


Present day, I speak up in the best way for the discussions at hand. I don't argue my position much. I state my intentions and hopes and that's that…So, how did I hush the second-guessing? I got comfortable with myself and made a new agreement with myself.


Here are the three things I focused on as I became more confident in what second-guessing signaled for me. Second-guessing for me was a sign that I was not listening fully to myself and I was not confident in my new way of thinking.


Number one, I made sure I could feel my breath as I was thinking through things. I did this to be fully present. Being fully present lessens the impact of thinking a mistake was made or another choice could have been better at the moment. Deciding with eyes wide open and completely aware limited the second-guessing feeling greatly.


Number two, I wrote down my thoughts about a decision. Seeing things on paper can make them more real and allow for changes to be made in real-time. This can be done in many ways. You could make a pros and cons list. Write out what the conclusions could end up being if you choose one way over the other. You could simply just write. Getting the thoughts out of your head and onto some paper or note format in your smart device could be the road for clarity for you. It was for me.


Last and certainly not least seek a different point of view. In business, matters talk to a mentor or consultant in the matter. If you need parenting advice talk to your friend with the children who always look like they have got it together. This also relieves some sense of having to decide on anything alone. Seeking another point of view can be done in many ways. Books, media, and mentors in many areas are available. Seek them out and get you some clarity.


It's been a minute since I have felt the need to kick myself in the rear. This is good because those feelings piling up made me feel like...ugh! These tips are not just for large decisions either. I wrote down lunch choices the other day to remind myself about clean eating!


Second-guessing, in the end, is an indicator of needing to slow down and get present. Take deep breaths…some days you will need more than others. This eliminated the feeling of was I really in tune with myself when I decided on something. Write it out. Seeing decisions and choices on paper make a difference! My confidence strengthened in my growth periods by being well informed and having done some tangible pre-work. Humans are here to guide and help one another. Use your resource of other humans who have been there and done that…it makes a difference.

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