If I Could Change One Thing About Myself

fda9e1468a6c3f49f323116339d12ccaOne of the most unpleasant feelings one can experience in life is being discontent with oneself. Whereas we are prone to notice negative features in other people, we rarely turn our eyes on ourselves to critically evaluate our behavior or personal qualities. But if we do, we can notice many traits within ourselves we would not like to be there. I try to stay tolerant towards the majority of my personality features. Though, simultaneously with my positive qualities, I can be a lazy, irresponsible, apathetic downer. I learned to live with these and other drawbacks; but the quality that I would enjoy getting rid of is my tendency to doubt my decisions.

It is human nature to doubt ourselves from time to time. Imagine the situation when the five best universities in the United States are willing to have you as their student. This is one chance in a million, and you know this decision could define your entire life. Most likely, you will not randomly point your finger at one of them and say: “I will study here” (well, not immediately, at least). Instead you will conduct serious research, figuring out the advantages and drawbacks of being a student of each particular university; you will sketch out your future career perspectives as a graduate of each of these universities, and check a number of other parameters. And after intense doubts and worries, you would choose your favored institution.

This is the most reasonable approach. But in my case, I am sometimes prone to doubt even after I made a decision. Most likely, I would choose a university carefully, make a final decision, and then doubt the decision for a while, even though I would be already studying there. In real life, such a peculiarity manifests in more everyday situations. To stay at home or to hang out with friends? Whatever I choose, I will spend some time thinking about the opposite variant. To buy chocolate milk or beer? To go to the cinema or to the theater? To spend vacations in the mountains or at the sea? Not always, but more often that I would like, I start to reflect about trivial decisions.

Would I like to completely quit doubting? I think not. Doubts are a natural mechanism that helps us make the best possible decision in every particular case; without this ability, we would most likely make random, uninformed decisions regardless of their possible consequences. But at the same time, when the decision is made, you must start working to actualize it without hesitation, and this is the moment when doubts become troublesome. The more you think over a certain action of yours, the more likely you will delay the actual realization of what is on your mind.

Wise people teach us to be tolerant towards themselves, and accept both their negative and positive traits. I agree with this thesis, but with one small specification: this acceptance must not be an excuse for not working towards personal development and growth. This is my approach towards my proneness to doubtfulness: I can live with it, I know it is mine, but I am persistently working on getting rid of this quality.

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