There are so many things I could have written about this week. But one specific phrase keeps returning to my mind, resonating with something inside.
“When in doubt… believe in yourself.”
It’s a nice phrase, and puts an unusual spin on the norm. Yet, I didn’t hear it from a self-help audio or a conversation between friends who like Marie Forleo and her phrase “Everything is figure-out-able”. It was a youtuber struggling to play a game he was recording. [Note, some swearwords are used in the video.]
Finding Inspiration In Everything
For those of you who don’t know, I play video games and have friends who post their gameplay on youtube for a living. I support those friends by running their videos in the background to help get them views, and because I find their commentary entertaining.
In this video game, the challenge was to complete some puzzles within the time-frame of a specific piece of classical music as the timer. The music gets faster and the pace feels more and more anxious. This was his 2nd or 3rd video trying to even complete the challenge, so at this point, he was hours into it.
And on his… 6th… 7th… 15th..? attempt… He said this:
“We got this. I believe in me. Or something. Come on. I’m pretty good at mazes. That doesn’t mean I’m fast at them though.”
A ‘Success’ or ‘Growth’ Mindset
This is not a video aiming to inspire others, he is not some motivational speaker, his aim was to express his frustration with this puzzle, and I was not seeking pearls of wisdom. The reason it struck me was actually the fact I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say such a phrase out loud.
How many times have you said to yourself “I believe in me.” Personally, I’ve not said it often. On occasion I mutter “I can do this” under my breath, but that’s still pretty rare. Usually, my thoughts tend to be more “what if I fail?” or “I knew this was pointless.”
Spoiler Alert: Not Magic Words
Now, at the end of the video (spoiler alert!) he didn’t complete the puzzle. Believing in himself did not magically give him the power to change his abilities or the outcome. Saying it out loud did not improve his skill or speed.
But neither did it hurt his chances, and keeping calm is likely to be beneficial when under pressure. The experience of playing the game is very different if you approach it with some possibility of hope, versus getting angry and deciding it’s pointless to try.
The inspiration for this post came from the Youtube Video titled “Hell Of The Mountain King – Let’s Play The Witness – Gameplay Part 22” by Wanderbots.
Quotes and their timestamps:
“I believe in me. Or something. Come on. I’m good at puzzles. Doesn’t mean I’m fast at them though.” [At 12:12]
“When in doubt… believe in yourself.” [At 16:54]