The 5 Dangers of Second Guessing Yourself

This article was written by Kim Brightness and published by Team Jesus Magazine


The decision has been made.

Perhaps you’ve brewed over the pros and cons, mapped out your course of action for path A, B, and C (B won), or maybe you dived in head first, trusting your gut.

Now, you’re well on your way, almost to the middle. You took the job, you relocated to that city, you’re taking the first class, you had your last {insert vice} – and you’re at the point where it’ll take more work to uproot and reverse your decision than to simply stay the course.

But, if you’re anything like me, that doesn’t stop you from second guessing yourself:

“Did I really make the right decision?”
“What if I fail?”
“Maybe it’s not the right time.”
“What if there was something better out there?”

How many times have we bailed on decisions or choices made with the above fearful and doubtful questions? Barring decisions that put us in real danger, or patterns of thoughtless living that require constant do-overs, we have to learn to make a decision and stick with it.

I remember my Dad (God rest his soul) once told me:

Second guessing voids perfection
in the NOW that was.
~ Bishop R.R. Johnson

Seriously, Dad? Whewww!

Of course, to experience the truth in his deep words, I had to keep on living. I had to keep going and fully honor the decisions I’d made. Many times, there were struggles, tears, regret, and then, wouldn’t you know it… brighter days, moments of clarity, and ultimately gratefulness!

As I followed through to the end and discovered the REASON WHY I needed to stay the course, I came out of the experience with life treasures I could use for the next journey.

Sidebar: As long as we’re living, there will be next journeys. At the end of every decision comes time to make another, Team. End sidebar.

So, the key is to not get hung up on fear, doubt, and over-analyzing your decisions. Yes, we are to acknowledge God in all our ways, but for those times when God is waiting on US to support our decision, we must remember that it is God who will cause us to triumph, no matter the outcome (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Here’s why second-guessing is dangerous and can be a threat to your life treasures.

Second guessing…

1. Denies a lesson that needs to be learned.

Your greatest life treasures are intangible. They are the life lessons learned through experience and seeing a thing to the end. Second guessing threatens to keep you in the dark, in ignorance of what, where, how, why, and when to move. God knows the challenges that are 2, 5, or 10 years ahead on your journey. But, if you stall and act on a second guess, if you abort today’s mission, you will be inadequately prepared for the future, and will most likely spend time repeating the learning experience.

2. Denies God the opportunity to perform a miracle.

Ever make a decision that turns into a total nightmare? Every step forward sends you 5 steps backward? Are things getting worse with no glimmer of ‘better’ in sight? Well, Team, rest assured. Not every horrible situation results from bad decision-making – just look at the life of Joseph.  Sometimes, God sends us a special invitation to witness a miracle – and we’re playing the 1st string quarterback! Don’t second guess your play calls; follow through and trust that the Coach, the Author of your faith will cause you to finish strong for the win!

3. Slows progress toward the real goal.

When you’re on your mission, you cannot be effective, alert, and observant by wasting time second guessing your current position. Trust God and flourish right where you are, not the 1,000,000 places you maybe-perhaps-probably-could’ve been. Often the real goal is just a few steps from where you are now. You maintain your purposed pace with proper focus and a forward press (Philippians 3:14) – not a backward march.

4. Rejects the gift of contentment.

There’s a life treasure for all of us called contentment. Some of us spend a ton of energy second guessing because we have not learned how to be grateful for what we have and how far we’ve come today. Sure, it’s great to aspire for more, but there is peaceful contentment in not being overly influenced by what others have or are doing – which leads us to second guess where WE are. Sometimes, you don’t need more; you don’t need to move left, right, or back – you’re just fine where YOU are at this moment.

5. Immobilizes you while you attempt to predict the future.

Team, it’s called a second “guess” for a reason. No amount of time or energy pouring over the facts (as you know them today) will guarantee that you will predict an accurate, alternate, better future. If we were that good, we’d never need a SECOND guess – our FIRST guess would be on point! So, as you sit there ruminating, over-analyzing, and peering into your crystal ball, you’re stagnant. You’re stuck. Release yourself from the second-guessing-trap, put away your crystal ball, and keep moving forward to find the life treasures that God has already purposed for you to discover.

So, what’s the play call?

Go ahead – give yourself permission to find your greatness and see God’s glory in every decision and choice you make. God is always there to love and support you.

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