CROWELL ON SECOND GUESSING 

The second of two WOH’s on the destructive habit of second guessing oneself.

The biggest little word in the English language is the word “if.” Two letters that can make a big impact. 

“If” can be used in various ways:

1. An introduction to a conditional clause. “If I would have listened to my gut, I would have brought my ace reliever into game 5.”

2. Despite the possibility that no matter what.  “If you try to stop me, I will still win.”

3. Expressing a polite question.  “If you have time, please get me a cup of coffee”

We will focus on the first definition listed above; the use of the conditional clause. 

Second guessers, like me, have mastered the use of the little big word in conditional clause situations. 

If you wouldn’t have, I would have…

If you didn’t nag me, my decision would have been…

If I would have known, I could have…

Fact is, if I would have known Denver would defeat Carolina in the Super Bowl, I could have made millions. 

Fact is, if I would have known X was the best choice, I wouldn’t have chosen Y.

If we could know today what the stock market will do next week, we could be billionaires.  

I admit as I write these words, I am thinking, “This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t new information.” 

Why am I taking two WOH’s to talk about the futility of second guessing?

Well, since I asked, I will tell you the answer to my question. 

I am at a decision point. I say, “Crowell, stop it!  Stop second guessing yourself.” I am making this a big deal in my life.

If the 80/20 rule applies to second guessing this means 8 out of 10 people second guess themselves. Pretty fair odds, it means you second guess yourself too. 

I promised you Second Guess Success Principle #2. 

I learned it from the finest addiction counselor I know.  Mrs. Crowell taught me the most important anti-addiction skill is to learn to be “right here right now.”

No one teaches us to live in the past or present more effectively than Jesus. It doesn’t take much skill to live in the past. All we need is an average memory. It doesn’t require much, if any, effort to live in the future. 

Matthew 6:25-33 is the second principle to stop the habit of second guessing. 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:25-33

If you are serious about mastering the art of being right here right now, then follow the exact homework I gave in second guessing #1 – “SECOND GUESSING IS UNPROFITABLE.”

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