I’ve recently observed the following: I’m constantly giving up in small ways every day. It’s not a blunt “okay, forget it, I can’t be bothered, I give up!“. It’s more like a “yeah, but what are the chances that this will work out?“. It’s a very subtle pervasive framing that constantly taints my thinking.
It’s a bit of a stretch to say that these thoughts qualify as giving up. They’re just part of evaluating pros and cons—weighting the chances of success of a given course of action and the opportunity cost of one decision over another.
I wasn’t calling it “giving up” until now because I tend to do things anyway. If I think a course of action has merit and a non-zero chance of creating the results I’m looking for, I tend to go for it, regardless. I believe in trying.
The subtle realization I’m talking about here is that, even if it’s more accurate to tell myself that something worth trying is unlikely to succeed—it’s not necessarily the most empowering thing to do.
Having reasonable doubts about a certain plan deflates the emotional energy you’re able to bring to the table. That in turn lowers your chances of success. On the other hand, having irrational confidence might make you blind to the pitfalls of a given plan.
As usual, there’s a sweet spot in between. I think I tend to fall on the more “accurate” side of the spectrum and I can probably benefit from more irrational self-confidence. What side of the spectrum do you fall on?