Self-doubt is a pretty sneaky bastard. It creeps up on you when you’re not looking, eases its way into your mind, and steals any confidence you have, turning your life into a giant game of Kerplunk. As each rod of confidence is removed, more pieces of your life tumble down until you’ve lost all your marbles. Before you know it, you’re standing there with a pile of insecurities, baffled at how you got there, and questioning every move, much like a drunken one night stand. Not that I know what that’s like.
Well, it looks like self-doubt has managed to ninja its way into my life. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been standing here with my insecurities in hand questioning the quality of this blog and my writing.
Is it any good? Is this what I wanted my blog to be? How can I make it better? How can I improve my writing? Am I even a good writer?
These are just a few of the questions that have been circling my brain and paralyzing me with doubt. It got so bad that I questioned every word I typed, every blog topic I brainstormed, and every photo I edited. I questioned whether I had truly found my voice or was just mimicking the faint echos of those around me.
Afraid that I was losing all my marbles, I took an unplanned blog vacation to hunt down my answers. At one point during my search, in between conversations of thigh gaps and hot celebrities, I let it slip to my bestie that I had been plagued by doubt. To which she offered me these wonderful pearls of wisdom:
“If even one person enjoys it, you’re doing fine.”
“Fuck it. Just get to where YOU like it.”
Well, these are both great ideas, but what happens if you never reach that point?
You see, I have always been my worst critic. I hold myself to a much higher standard than I hold other people. And I hold my writing to an even higher standard than that! It’s quite a predicament when you can’t even reach your own standards. It might also mean that those standards are impossible for anyone to achieve.
So how do you get out of your own way? This is a question I’m still struggling to answer, but I’m slowly realizing that remaining paralyzed by my own self-doubt will only cause me to lose my marbles faster than Tootles from Peter Pan. I may not be the best writer and I may not have the best blog, but all I can do is try. I can try to improve my writing. I can try to steer my blog in the direction that I want it to go. And I can try to overcome my crippling self-doubt.
In a world where everything and everyone is already telling us we’re not good enough, the last thing we need is to to tell ourselves that, too. So, for now, I am choosing to believe in myself. I hope all of you will, too.
Have you ever experienced crippling self-doubt? How did you deal with it?