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Doubt – The Chicken and The Egg

For a lot of people my age, we struggle with doubt. Whether it’s applying for an internship or trying something new, we doubt our ability to actually pull it off.

“Oh, I don’t think I could ever do that.”

“What if I suck at it?”

Doubt is natural, but it isn’t the root problem. Doubt is just one symptom of the underlying issue.

Think about it: Why do we doubt our abilities to do something? Why do we doubt whether we’ll enjoy doing something new?

It’s because we’ve never done it before.

Never interviewed for an internship or job? It’s uncharted territory – of course we doubt whether we can actually get it! Never traveled on our own? Of course we’re nervous – we’ve never done it.

Doubt is inexperience.

If doubt is just inexperience, how do we overcome it? That’s easy:

The only way to overcome inexperience is by actually doing shit.

Sounds simple enough, right? There’s one problem – it’s fucking difficult to do shit when we’re paralyzed by fear. We need to play in uncharted territory, but the fact that it’s uncharted means that we’re fucking terrified to be there in the first place.

It’s only by exploring new things that we overcome fear and doubt, and it’s that fear and doubt that keep us from exploring new things.

It’s the chicken and the egg.

We have to break out of that hamster wheel. Unless we find a way to overcome that fear and doubt, we’ll be stuck with it.

The only way to execute in the face of fear and doubt is by saying, “Fuck it.”

Every artist has started out as absolute shit. Every executive has started as a bright-eyed intern. Sure, there are the outliers that were born with unfathomable talent, but I’ll bet that most have just said, “Fuck it!” and taken the first step.

Taking that leap is fucking terrifying. We set unreasonable standards for ourselves and expect that our first attempt will be perfect. We don’t give ourselves permission to absolutely suck while we figure things out.

No one expects it to be perfect except us. No one expects us to be experts. No one expects that we’ll know every possible answer to every possible question.

What is expected of us? It’s the same list that we should expect of ourselves. We should learn. We should grow. We should ask questions and apply what we’ve learned in answering them.

The only one limiting our growth is ourselves. We simply need to say, “Fuck it. Let’s go.”

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