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Welcome to the life and chronicles of My Jersey Boys and me, B (the only girl who hangs out with them). Our original mission was to prove that not all of Jersey is obsessed with GTL. Now it's kind of become the place where we share our random thoughts, ridiculous stories, regular quote updates, and maybe a picture or video here and there. There's always something going on...

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Self Doubt

Posted by D on 5:46 PM
I wanted to write something for the blog today, so I've spent a lot of time thinking about something interesting to write about. I really struggle with writing about things that I don't care about. I realize that everybody struggles with that, but it definitely applies to me. BSing about something boring is okay for school but is not something I'm really interested in letting anybody else read. I guess you could say that I am fairly sensitive about what people think about my writing (once again, I realize this is fairly common).

I am currently watching Pardon the Interruption on ESPN (which is a really good show when compared to the other stuff ESPN produces). Kornheiser and Wilbon discussed the significance of Rafael Nadal, the world #1 in men's tennis, expressing serious self-doubt following his most recent match. From what I understand (which is admittedly limited), Nadal was less than confident about his prospects against the remaining French Open field. Kornheiser and Wilbon discussed what this display of self-doubt meant for Nadal's chances in winning his 6th (yes 6th) French Open Championship. They shared a very reasonable perspective* that Nadal still had a very good chance to win. They seemed to agree with me that Nadal's 5 previous titles have more predictive power than Nadal's honest assessment of himself. They added a piece of information that I was not aware of. Apparently, Nadal is known for being overly realistic about his performance in the press conferences that follow his matches. Nadal is the #1 tennis player in the world, and he is consumed with self-doubt to the extent that 5 previous championships at Roland Garros do not give him endless confidence. Thoughtful readers may point out that a person truly consumed with self-doubt would not be so open about his limitations in a public setting (I think this is a reasonable point).

*As much as I love ESPN, most of the content it produces and distributes is poorly thought out and often inane. PTI is one of the few shows that I actually find mentally stimulating. Most of the announcers on ESPN must have been hired for their ability to speak to cameras, because they certainly weren't hired for their brilliant analysis.*

So the world's best tennis player struggles with self-doubt just like me? Nadal is worried that he might not be playing well enough to win this week, and I am worried that people may think my writing is terrible. It's exactly the same thing. Okay, obviously I don't do anything as well as Nadal plays tennis, and I don't want anybody to think I am comparing myself to anything on that level. If anything, my self-doubt is more deserved given that Nadal is the best tennis player in the world and I am the best writer in my basement (I am the only person in my basement). The point is that everybody struggles with self-doubt. It's just an issue of how people express it. Plenty of them suppress it so much that you would never know. These people may overcompensate for their self-doubt with a veil of self-confidence.

I think I've heard people say that bullies are really cowards. Whether or not this true (I'm skeptical), I think it's a good analogy for self-doubt and self-confidence. Self-doubt and confidence go hand-in-hand. We all have both, just in different amounts. They are not mutually exclusive (meaning that you can have both self-doubt and confidence). They work together to shape how we present ourselves to other people. We each have our preferred amount of both. I would not want to live with only self-confidence and all the implications that come with it. Similarly, I would not want to live with only self-doubt and all the implications that come with it. There is a healthy balance, specific to the individual.

I mentioned before that plenty of people suppress their self-doubt. When I said plenty, I really meant most, if not all. I started out by writing that I don't like to write about things I don't care about. Readers who have been paying attention hopefully figured out that self-doubt is really important to me because I am consumed with self-doubt. Although Rafael Nadal and I are similar in very few ways, I can sympathize with his feeling of self-doubt. Even in settings that we've proved ourselves before, we struggle with accepting and moving past our perception of our limitations. I have no brilliant solution for the self-doubt problem. This is partly because I try (emphasize try) not to view self-doubt as all negative (The other part is because I'm just not smart enough to figure out the answer). Doubt keeps us grounded. It keeps us aware of our limitations. It prevents success from going to our heads. I may disagree with the following thought tomorrow, but maybe self-doubt is just as important as self-confidence when comes to being a successful person (whatever that means).

I hope you like my writing.



I like your writing! Lol... The best advice I ever received about writing is that you should always write what you know.

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