What is Second-Guessing?

Concept of the DayWhat is Second-Guessing?


Second-Guessing is an act of predicting or expecting something by guesswork. Second-guessing also means criticizing or questioning someone’s or self’s actions or decisions after the outcome of those actions and results are understood. Second-guessing oneself is a type of insecurity, anxiety and also low self-confidence about what has been decided or thought about is right or not. 

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A person who has a wavering mind usually second-guesses his or her actions and decisions. For example, Reena was an underconfident girl who always had difficulty making a decision or action. She opted for commerce in high school and also studied accounts as a specialization. But she opted for the same because she had doubts about choosing other streams. When her parents asked her the decision to choose the specialization, she assertively said that she wanted accounts. However, after appearing for the exams, she second-guessed her decision in academics and was also criticized when she scored poor marks in the exams.

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Second-guessing also happens among many youngsters who are afraid to fail. Everything has to be planned as per this modern generation. But when they take some decision after guesswork, they are afraid a lot. Second-guessing comes out of a lack of trust in themselves. For example, Nishant had a lot of insecurities in his new relationship with Siya. He second-guessed his girlfriend’s beliefs, choices, and also life objectives, which meant he had a different opinion than hers, which made him feel uncertain about his future with the girlfriend.

Second-guessing oneself often is okay because no one knows everything 100% or with utmost surety. But severe second-guessing may make you not enjoy life at all. Instead of doubting your decisions often, you can practice the habit of taking informed decisions and actions. You can learn on a timely basis from your mistakes and do corrective actions. Second-guessing yourself can be stopped by stopping negative self-talk.

Accepting things as they are and replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts will help one to get rid of second-guessing oneself completely. Second-guessing can be redirected by thinking and asking the self with open-ended questions that are created for self-growth and maturity. For example, when Savi was unable to know whether she has to continue with her present job or not, she decided to rethink all her past actions and decisions.

She came to the conclusion that her present job is perfect if she worked really hard and put in sincere efforts. Savi stopped the habit of second-guessing by writing affirmations about what she wanted to do in her life. Accepting the outcomes of her decisions as they are helped Savi to overcome the habit of second-guessing and work confidently in her job.

The majority of the time, people second-guess when they are in a new job or in a new college, or in a new relationship thinking that they will fail if they don’t guess or think correctly. Thus, one needs to be aware and collect information as much as possible before taking any decision or action in their life. Consulting others and talking to different people with various views can also help.

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