Yeah we all have doubts when we start. One of the things that helped me was when I took a look at the people around me in the dojo. We have our sensei who has a lot of judo experience and some experience with other martial arts, we have an 8th dan in uechi ryu karate who used to teach hand to hand in the military and has forgotten more about martial arts than I'll ever know, there are various other dan grades from other arts, and several police officers including the local chief of police. All of these people find aikido to have value and bring benefit. They tell me it can "work" in real life and I believe them. Of course I've never been the guy who, after being told the match is hot, had to touch it to make sure
Also you can do the thing I did. After class I told my, then, teacher about my doubts and asked him if he could please really
do the technique to me. After some convincing he did it. Gravity was not strong enough to pull me away from the pain fast enough. It was my first real nikyo and it changed my perspective entirely. Just because we don't do it full out every single time doesn't mean we can't do it full out.
I hope you find a dojo where the training matches what you're looking for. Or you come to grips with the training at your current place. Either way good luck.