“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” ~Henry Ford
Self-doubt is a killer. It may start off quietly in the back of your mind when you’re a kid. You may not even notice its presence, but if you let it, it can keep growing bigger and bigger like a balloon that never pops.
“Did I make the right decision?”
“Should I have said that out loud?”
“Should I apply for that job?”
“Am I good enough?”
For most (including myself), it’s that last question that haunts you no matter what you’re trying to do.
Growing up, my self-doubt tiptoed into my mind by silently questioning my dancing. After I satisfied my inner critic by quitting dance practice, it moved on to question my grades, my personality, and everything else about myself.
Fast-forward to my mid-twenties, and my self-doubt grew considerably in size. Amped with a larger space in my mind, my self-doubt attacked my writing and my job as a writer and questioned if my articles were even worth reading.
The belief that I wasn’t good enough stopped me from sharing any of my work with my friends and family. It stopped me from even looking at my own articles.
Over the next few months, I went on to write about twenty opinion pieces on global politics, none of which were a source of pride for me, because that is what I told myself.
A few months after I quit my job to focus on personal health issues, I decided to go back to the website that published my work. “Maybe I can look at my writing with a fresher perspective,” I thought.
Unfortunately for me, the company that I’d worked for decided to change their business model and redirect their efforts to create an app. All my articles had been wiped clean. Months of hard work, research, and slaving away over 700-word articles vanished at the click of a button.
“Why didn’t I save any of this?” I asked myself. Because my self-doubt told me it wasn’t worth saving.
It was only then that I realized, every hobby, passion, or profession I’d tried had been stunted by my own debilitating inner monologue. Moreover, I had failed to recognize that even if my articles weren’t “good enough” by someone else’s standards, they were still mine. They were still a product of my mind and tangible proof that I had ability to create something despite the obnoxious voice in my head.
At first I thought, “What am I doing that keeps making that bubble grow bigger?” But I already knew the answer. I was feeding…