My Career Change Doubts (and why I'm not acting on them) Part 2
May 20, 2017
As I look at my life, I can point to many occasions where I might have gone back on decisions too early.
I recently came across something called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Put crudely, it is a sort of "the more you know, the more you realise you don't know" theory. It is easy to be optimistic at the start of a project, but as we delve further in, we see all the barriers to success and lose confidence. See graph below:
This strikes a chord with me, and I think explains in part why in the past I have changed direction too early.
I come up with a theory, an idea, a plan, and I get all pumped up. This breakthrough might be described as somewhat of an epiphany. I feel as though I have somehow "seen the light" and that my whole life has been leading up to this point. This is a game-changer and my life will be immeasurably better from now on, I think.
Exciting though these "epiphanies" can be, I have learnt that I need to exercise a certain amount of caution when they come around. There will almost certainly be difficulties and complications that I haven't even thought of yet.
If I keep this in mind it can help me not to put too much weight on the plan being the huge "game -changer" that I expect, and also prepare me not to be too knocked back when the inevitable difficulties (and their accompanying doubts) arise.
I have often been too quick to act on doubts. They have brought me to the conclusion that I have made the "wrong choice" and that I need to keep searching for the right one.
Meditation has helped me distance myself from my thoughts a little. If I'm observing my mind well, I can notice the doubts arise, and not buy into them too much. I can say to my mind "I can see what you're doing here, you won't get me that easily."
And whilst I do believe that a certain amount of contemplation is necessary and that we must also be wary of going too far the other way and being too "gung-ho," at some point we do just need to go for it.
Of course there may well be no "right choice." Even if there were, it is probably better to just make Achoice and commit to it fully, rather than expend too much time and energy trying to find the perfect one.
I once heard someone say "you don't follow your passion, your passion follows you."
I think this is good advice. Rather than search for the right path, I think just choosing a path, sticking it to for a set period, and then reflecting, is a much more effective and enjoyable way to go.