It's something I'm good at, I'm told. Quite frankly, I never really understood what it meant. I mean, everything is a guess, right? Each decision or choice is a guess- hopefully a best guess. So the second guess is the act of changing one's mind, right? Big deal. I always considered that to be a sign of open-mindedness, which is a good thing, right?
Now I'm not so sure.
The above sentence was a prime example of second guessing. Now I know this. While I was typing the sentence, I was not aware that it was "second guessing." I do it constantly, as habit.
Second guessing indicates lack of self-confidence rather than open-mindedness. As I attempt to strengthen my sense of self, it is necessary for me to break the habit of second guessing.
I am beginning to realize that second guessing is a precious waste of time and energy, and it creates negativity. Furthermore, in my case it is an act of selling out, of disregarding the self and its boundaries.
As a recent example, I have been busy preparing for a trip to the Pacific Northwest to apply for a job. I have a lot to do to prepare. My phone rings, I waffle about answering, I decide it might be The Child's school calling with a dire emergency, so I answer. It's no emergency- when was the last time a phone call was an emergency?- it was a Pest wanting me to go to dinner, and I said no, I am very busy, I can't make any frivolous plans over the next 3 weeks, and the Pest went on to say that a good steak dinner was probably exactly what I need to get the job, and I said, hmmm, maybe you're right, even though I don't eat meat, I'll have to see how The Child feels about me going out on a pseudo date- I'll get back to you after consulting with The Child......
See how easy it is for me to be talked out of my original decision, or boundary in this case? The Pest exerted very little effort to inspire my turnabout.
In retrospect, I see that it would have behooved me to stick to my guns. The Child is already feeling abandoned because I've been so intense about my job search. The truth is, I want The World to leave me alone for the next 3 weeks. Now I'm stuck with the burden of talking my way out of the steak dinner.
I am second guessing the travel plans I've made. There were many factors to consider, and I did the best I could. I have reserved the flight and hotel, and now I am busying myself with second guessing. Why did I choose such a late flight? What are my odds of being mugged when arriving at a strange city at midnight? How will I get to the hotel from the airport at that hour? The mass transit only runs until midnight...... What if the hotel sucks? Should I have shelled out $150 extra for the hotel I know to be acceptable?
OK, I'll stop. Now that I have some awareness of the omnipresence of second guessing in my life, I can watch for it and stop it.
Although, come to think of it, doesn't that mean I'll become arrogant and closed-minded?