Trying to Disprove Your Own Ideas

A family member came by today and the course of the conversation got me thinking about the reasons that I have managed to achieve everything I set out to do with far less effort than should be required, and succeed, whereas most people never do.  One of the secrets, I think, comes down to the way I frame questions.

Most people, when they have decided upon a course of action, look for confirmation of their hypothesis from other people.  They ask questions of their friends, family, co-workers, and mentors, but subconsciously, they frame those questions to only reach the conclusion that they, themselves, desire to hear.  This inevitably leads one to believe they have sought input and wisdom whereas, in reality, they have merely attempted to delude themselves into thinking their actions are prudent based upon feedback that was faulty in its premise.

In my own case, whenever I start thinking about launching a new business, making an investment, or proceeding with a course of action, my primary objective is to disprove my own conclusions.  In other words, I look for reasons not to do something.  Only then, after intense scrutiny, do I proceed with a small fraction of the ideas that were originally considered.  I attempt to avoid, at all costs, first conclusion bias.

  • sir,
    but when to get set on this …….. “ok i disproved my notions have looked conservatively and now pursue it”

    may i suggest something …… in line of what i was thinking recently
    is the trick to get confidence is to do things which start small and trade big ?…. or to do things that didn’t have big personal liability ……. so that when you have not marinated yourself in mental models ….. nonavailability of ability to perfectly disapprove your own notions ( which might have something to do with experience ) doesn’t pull you down too much..

    is there any general rule like that which can be used by nonjoshuakennon.?
    sorry if question is too vague or cause any inconvenience.

    PS does burdine’s ass have something to do this ?

  • Mr.owenr

    My first reaction when reading this is “Why waste time gathering data to disprove your own ideas if you’re just going to do your ideas anyway.”

    • balrogwarrior

      Because, if he can disprove his own ideas, he won’t do them.