Saturday, August 1, 2009

When the going gets tough...

...I tend to hesitate and change my mind. Or proceed slowly with
trepidation. This is something I've finally realized about myself.
Admitting your problem is the first step, right?

This unfortunate tendency of mine manifests itself in all sorts of
situations. I do it at the grocery store if something I was planning
to buy seems too expensive, then I change my mind about what to cook.
I do it in the field, walking through brambles. On second thought
maybe I shouldn't go this way after all. On paper, I'm going to record
10 kinds of data. In the field I think oh crap, how am I ever going to
do all of that? So I hesitate and think maybe I can do without some of
that information. I second-guess my decision to do whatever it was I
was going to do. I'm the kind of person who can spend more time
thinking about the best way to do something than it would take to
actually do it. This is a problem.

I think this is part of what I was trying to get at with my post about
needing to be more of a badass. I just need to keep my head down and
power through (that's for you, Jon). At least more often than I do now.


gigirose said...

I understand this COMPLETELY. Frustrating for sure. But maybe try to see it as a positive as well? -- you do not work with blinders on, you are cognizant of the larger picture, and able to juggle multiple contingencies in your head at once. What's the point in collecting 15 different pieces of info if you can only get to 25% of the data points?!

Anonymous said...

I often struggle with the same problem. My advisor, and this is literal and metaphorical, just strides through brambles as if daring them to stop him. I slow and in trying not to get stuck, seem to get stuck even more. I try to deal with it asking myself what's the worst that could happen if I don't stop to consider and account for every variable possible? And 90% of the time the worst isn't actually bad at all, just scratches on my knuckles.

There's a speech from JF Kennedy before the first moon landing. It had the tone of a pep rally, but in it he says "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." I think about this quote a lot.

(Also, hi! I've been lurking on your blog for a while now.)

Anonymous said...

Jon here again. Yeah, I agree with muddy. I find that thinking about the worst case helps me get past things and gives me confidence in my actions.