Today I'm talking about something personal and an old enemy of mine. Self-Doubt. If I'm being honest though, it has been both my ruination & salvation at times. You can bet it's made me into the Writer I am today.
It's a new week with a whole new set of probabilities & awesome paths your life can take.
Let's kickit off with #MondayMotivation
Self-Doubt to me is a mighty temptress, able to find you at your most vulnerable, often catching you unawares. She is quite possibly the Greatest enemy ever known to Creativity. Yet one cannot exist without the other.
Last week I fell pray to this mistress of deception. She tackled me when all seemed to go wrong in my life. And true to her seductive nature she lulled me into a sense of numbness whereby I was given tiny whispers that it's ok to be lazy, it's ok to take a break...and even to give up.
We've all had these moments haven't we? The ones where even when things are going great, even when we're offered Big opportunities, there's that one moment where Doubt creeps in. Slowly at first and not until it has its sharp claws deep within you do you feel that colossal wave sweep through you, that horrible pit in your stomach and that voice in your head saying "I'm not good enough." or my personal favorite, "There's no way I can do that."
It's like a never ending curse that we must all bare our souls to and somehow survive each time it happens.
Did you know JK Rowling, one of the most successful authors in history went through horrible depression and self doubt? Oh yes. Boy did she ever.
She was a single mom with little to no means of supporting her family and a very Real chance that they would be taken away from her. I can't even fathom what it would be like to be her at that very moment.
In fact, if you're a fan of the Harry Potter series, you'll notice that the Dementors were inspired by the turmoil she experienced whilst depressed. Ghoulish creatures that are able to suck every ounce of happiness you posses.
I'm going to go through the number One google result for Overcoming Self Doubt and see what spin I can give.
6. Ask Yourself Empowering Questions.
Allowing you to admit to yourself your strengths and weaknesses, fears and beliefs.
* Do you want to be responsible for your own life decisions?
* Do you have the courage to go after what you want and see it through?
* Can you accept that fear is part of the journey and move forward anyway?
* Can you recognize that fear is only your leader if you allow it to be?
The mind is a fickle thing, it can change so suddenly or just be a stubborn nail that you can never budge. So it's important to reassure the mind every day of it's true purpose. To remain strong for the dreams and passions you wish to pursue.
5. Decide You Don’t Have To Do Anything.
Whether naive or mature, I believe at some level we all want absolute control.
This one seems to involve an excercise to show You that You have the power of Choice. That you can either choose to do something or not to do it. The choice and therefore responsibility is all on you thereafter.
This is hogwash ofcourse, this is the very problem that breeds self doubt, it's not that we don't feel in control or that we don't feel like our decisions matter. It's Because we feel the control and the responsibility that Doubt haunts us endlessly. It's because we feel like even if we make the decision, even if we take on the responsibility and put on that brave face, how are we suppose to Face it when it all falls apart or that our choices inevitably led us to that dark and dingy road of failure?
With this point I would say, screw control. You have enough on your plate with work, the family, the kids, the house, the food, the money, the retirement plan, the travel. And then on top of all of that you add the workload of pursuing your dreams...
Just Decide that no ONE decision is going to make or break you, decide that you'll have to take on this feeling of Self-Doubt each and every time, battle it just like the warriors in those Mythical stories. It's not about winning or losing, it's about surviving each time.
Confidence isn't created or bought or even bedazzled...it's Earned. I'm talking about true confidence. not the kind you get when you go home with a hot guy or girl at the end of a date or the kind you get when you can afford an amazing car.
True confidence can only be attained by force of will. By weathering the storms, by fighting through the obstacles, by smiling through the pain and by surviving. Because once you go through the trails and tribulations, I promise you'll love yourself more for making it on your own terms.
3. Change your attitude about failure.
"Fear doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up."
Thankfully these aren't just statements and the character proves this quality by action many times over in the books & movies.
There are honestly so many types of fears out there, it's mindboggling. So how are we suppose to conquer something that exists practically in every direction around the world? WE DON'T
The psychobible says that there are many ways to overcome fear but why should we overcome it? Why, when we can change it, mold it to our liking. Just look at that fear from a different perspective.
My favorite quote illustrates this perfectly:
Such awesome meaning here! I love it.
Here we see that most people will have a fear that they are not good enough when in fact if you look at it from a different angle, it appears that we a more afraid of succeeding than failure.
Last week when the doubt set in, I wasn't depressed because I had failed I was depressed because I wondered more than anything what I would do should I become successful.
Would I be worthy enough to deserve that success, would I be humble enough that I honor that success. Would I be mature enough to own that success...
This could be the most difficult step for anyone. Because we so desperately want to believe in our friends to have faith that they will be there when we need them the most.
It's easy to make friends but it's not so easy to find the ones that are truly selfless in their actions towards you. Find that friend that's there in a heart beat, to Listen only, to allow you that opportunity to vent, to say everything on your mind no matter how ridiculous, dark or funny it may sound. They listen and comfort. They when all is said and done, they Support. They are that pillar that keeps you from diving into the abyss of doubt.
1. Make a Decision.
Never, ever ever never ever never Never forget that.
It's the start of a new week, it's a beginning of sorts. The perfect place to make that decision to TRY. For every great success on this planet began with that very same decision to TRY.
It's so so EASY for us to fall into rooted routines and accustomed paths that it's almost impossible to break free, to ignore that part of your brain that compels you to procrastinate or value other things in your life as of more import.
No one, no one can make this decision for you. You could read a hundred blog posts and a thousand self help books on overcoming doubt but you'll move no further than where you are now if you don't make a DECISION to TRY.
I say this in the hopes that now only you hear it but that I do too. For no one is perfect & even the most motivated people on the planet have darkened days of self doubt and reprimand. What matters most is that we ALL just keep moving forward, keep battling those demons, keep surviving and just plain ol' keep on keepin' on!
I really do Believe in all of you and the immense power you carry within your beating heart and fiery soul. We are all capable and the greatest disappointment would be to not honor the potential we have.
So I beseech you, start to Dream again, start to Believe in You because I already do. I have faith that all of you can & will accomplish incredible and insurmountable feats. Your dream is still there, I promise you it's still there. Reach out and Soar with it.
ROAR like the Lion you were always meant to be!