Doubt 101? ~ “Blackjack” David Sapolis


Tied to a Dump Truck.

Many of us have something holding us back. Most of the time it because we have attached ourselves to something negative along the way—or—it is because we have allowed our belief systems to be altered or led off course.

We have to guard our certainty. Certainty is the absence of doubt. It is believing in yourself and your ability to be successful in any situation, no matter how bad the circumstances are. Diligence, certainty, and perseverance fuel our survival. Doubt prevents it.

It’s hard to be doubtful, bummed out, or trapped in despair when you are moving forward with diligence and perseverance. Doubt creeps in through the weak areas of your mental game. It does not take over your thoughts because of anything that happens out on the table. Doubt is created in your mind. That makes it “controllable.”

You become very susceptible to doubt after a loss.

I have learned that if you keep moving forward, you will not have enough time to doubt yourself. Enter another tournament, play another match, match up with somebody—do something—do anything to keep yourself moving forward.

If you pause, or if you give your mind the opportunity to question your ability—you open the door for doubt to come in and take over. There are a lot of bad things out there, but doubt is ENEMY NUMBER ONE. It creeps in like a thief in the night, then it consumes you, and ultimately destroys you.

Doubt is definitely the last thing that you want controlling your thought process.

When you try to move forward again, it’s as if you have a bull rope connected to a dump truck tied around your waist. Don’t get fooled into thinking that doubt is powerful, it’s not. Doubt is heavy, it halts your movement, and it will keep you stationary no matter how bad you want to move away from it.

When immersed in doubt and uncertainty, many players fall into the trap of telling themselves that they just have to be more determined. They believe that if they commit themselves and all of their energy towards grabbing the rope and pulling the dump truck up a steep hill, then they will eventually conquer doubt. You can pull on that rope with all of your might, but you’ll never move the dump truck.

You see, when we’re desperate, our minds don’t work very well. Our problem solving and common sense skills become non-existent, and panic flies in while reason flies out the window. Somehow, we seem to forget that when we started the race, we did not have a rope tied around us, and we were not attached to the dump truck. So why pull the rope? You’d probably get better results if you tied the rope around your neck.

You need to remember that doubt is the dump truck, not the bull rope.

The bull rope represents your thoughts. If you attach your thoughts to doubt, then that’s what you will get. However, if you attach your thoughts to certainty, you’ll get that too. Certainty pulls you ahead, while doubt holds you back.

Notice I said that doubt holds you back—doubt is not pulling you back. As I said earlier, the dump truck is not moving. It is stationary. It designed to have you spin your wheels and smoke your tires when you try to move forward. So, if you’re not getting anywhere, flooring the gas pedal will not solve the problem, but that is exactly what we do.

We figure we need to work harder, so we practice until we are completely exhausted. We figure that we need to be more determined, so we keep fighting and pulling that rope until we are completely exhausted.

We don’t need the dump truck, so why are we pulling it?

My theory is that doubt plays with your mind in several different ways, but it is most effective in provoking you to battle against it. Once it is able to grab your attention, it attaches itself to your emotions, and then it proceeds to consume all of your energy. Doubt preoccupies your thoughts, your emotions, and your energy.

Doubt: is stationary and has no power holds in place—does not pull grabs your attention attaches itself to your emotions proceeds to consume all of your energy preoccupies your thoughts preoccupies your emotions preoccupies your energy keeps you spinning your wheels

So if we look at this with reason and common sense, we can clearly see that doubt’s provocation is met with our competitive nature. What this does, is it takes us off course and we end up battling against doubt.

There is nothing to win in the battle. It is designed to wear you out, and consume all of your energy. All that will happen is that you will get tired. If you continue fighting this battle long enough, it will start to affect your motivation. You will start to tell yourself that it’s not worth the energy to fight it anymore. You can prevent all of that by telling yourself right now that it’s not worth the energy to fight it, at all.

Just don’t give in to the provocation!

Editor: Dana Gornall

Photo: Jacob Botter/Flickr

#Issue1 #psychologyofthegame #technique

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