We all hit that point when doing something where doubt begins to kick in. Whether you’re trying to get that next rep at the gym, trying to get something done at work, or when mid-project on something of leisure, there can be that time when everything is telling you to just give up, take the easy path, and do something easy, or worse, never start at all. Recently I discovered that this voice inside you is typically wrong, and you’re capable of much more than you think. Today I’ll go over some scenarios where just giving it that extra 1% more effort can pay off.
Why Do We Doubt Ourselves?
People can go online and claim to be the most alpha son of a bitch in the world, capable of any task, but despite these keyboard alphas, real guys face or have faced a doubt in themselves at least once in life. I’ve found that doubt comes in two forms: pre-task and mid-task.
Pre-task doubt comes from you questioning your ability to complete a task. 9/10 times the real culprit here is fear of failure. Many times people will hype some task or obligation up in their heads before it even starts. They fear ridicule or judgement from others if they fail. This is something you have to crush. You never know the outcome of something unless you start somewhere. Also, when you do eventually fail at something, you learn from those mistakes and can apply them in the future. When someone compliments me on some overwhelming task, I like to say to myself in a joking but honest matter, that I fucked this up many times before I learned how to do it correctly. Get out of your own head and just start.
Mid-task doubt is a bit of a different beast. They always say that the first step is the hardest, and as we learned about above, just getting started can be what makes or breaks you. Mid-task doubt comes around when you’re faced with something extremely difficult. You had the balls to jump in and start, but at some point during the process, you’re faced with a seemingly impossible task. You stand there, questioning why you even took on this responsibility in the first place, and your mind wants you to take the path of least resistance and give up. This is what separates the proverbial “men from the boys” if you will.
Sticking it out through the bullshit builds character. Not only that, it shows that you can handle your shit when things get crazy. The key here is focusing on the goal. Sometimes you have to go back to square one and evaluate all the progress you’ve made thus far. Sometimes, you have to start over completely. This isn’t bad either, as you tend to pay more attention when you go back through a second time.
When to Quit
Doubting yourself and fearing failure are different from knowing when to quit. Only a fool continues on a task that isn’t giving him anywhere. I’ve found in my life that the examples above (pre/mid task doubt) come about when you’re faced with something that you either signed up for, are expected to accomplish, or its a personal goal you have set for yourself. (Not-always the case, but most of the time.)
When you realize that you’re getting nowhere fast, its typically a task you’ve been given by another person. Once again, not always the case, but typically it’s someone delegating you some task they themselves can’t/won’t do.
Whatever the source, a good way to measure whether you are wasting your time is to use the tips above. Realize you have to get your ass moving to make any progress at all, and get reevaluate your plans or methods used if you hit a snag. I’ve you’re holding up your end of things and carrying out what is expected of you and it is a useless cause, then you’re typically in a position to leave it in the dust.
There can be a time when we doubt our own abilities due to fear or facing a monumental task in front of us. If you stick with it and tough it out, you can definitely surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. The truth is, once you take something on, you have to commit to it 100% in order to see if its worth it or not. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, then use the steps above to see if you need to realign or dismiss it as useless.