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Doubt as a Motivator

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1
    This is kind of an odd post. To be honest, I don't really expect to see many responses, but I'm going to post it anyway.

    Back when I first started getting my degree, I wanted to prove something to myself. I had some self-esteem issues, a bit of an inferiority complex. I just needed to prove to myself that I wasn't as dumb as I thought I was, I guess. Now that I've gotten to where I've gotten that doubt has kind of... washed away.

    Now I know that what I have to study won't be easy material to tackle, but the fact that I think I can tackle it brings any motivation I have to a halt. It's very frustrating.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem or any solutions to it.

    I know how narcissistic this may sound, but I'm not trying sound like a hot shot. By no means am I claiming to be better than anyone here. In all honesty, I think anyone can do anything they want, people just doubt themselves (much like myself haha).
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2009 #2


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    Maybe you can find some other motivation now.
    For example, having gotten really interested in what you are studying, or being almost done, or finishing will give you good prospects.

    Otherwise, you could try increasing the challenge; for example, taking harder courses or trying to get a better understanding than strictly required.
  4. Apr 14, 2009 #3


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    I've had that problem before, knowing i can do something and then just... not being able to go and actually do it. It really is a problem of needing a 2nd source of motivation at the least because not all things in life you're going to see as "i don't know if i can do this". Not all things in life are challenges... hell taking out the trash isn't a monumental achievement but you just have to do it! :)
  5. Apr 14, 2009 #4
    Well, I don't think you can do it! I think you're going to fail!

    (did that help any? :wink:)
  6. Apr 14, 2009 #5
    I still struggle with this, and have since grade school. I skipped 6th grade, and things were still too easy. Then I skipped 9th grade, and things were too simple. Then they put me in AP classes, and things were still too simple. See, I was lucky enough to live with my grandfather, who loved math, science, and literature, which means I was around these things all my life, not just a few hours out of any day at school.

    Now I'm in college, and I'm on my third major. I pick something I'm interested in, but the degree plans are just so incredibly boring. I originally went the linguistics path, but the "due diligence" was torture. I want to study the language, not "influential Native-American texts" or "ground breaking African-American novels". Now, I'm studying Mech. Eng. and I'm hoping to go the astrophysics route (or maybe even nuclear). This one seems like it will stick. Math and Physics come easy to me, but they are also counter-intuitive, which is enough to keep me interested.

    What I'm trying to do with this anecdote (besides toot my own horn) is highlight the importance of will power and choosing a career you can get so interested in that really terrible aspects of college won't bother you. You're intelligent, but you will have to come to terms with the fact that colleges don't care about that. You're still going to have to get "X" amount of credits, even if that means wasting your time and money by taking courses you could do without. It's "grunt work", they say. And if what you expect to be the end result of your stay in college means enough to you, then you will find the will power to get through it.

    I'm turning 24 tomorrow. I'll be graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Mech. Eng. when I'm 27. Learn from my mistakes.
  7. Apr 14, 2009 #6
    Bah, I'm 26, and I've only got 49 credits under my belt after this semester. I've got a good 3 years, minimum, before I get my Bachelor's.

    We're still young!
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