There’s been countless times where I’ve come up with amazing blog post ideas. I go through them in detail in my head and feel really inspired and motivated. This usually happens while I’m in bed because my mind loves to come up with killer ideas when I’m supposed to be asleep, of course. I play with an idea for a while, and eventually open up my MacBook to start writing it down. But then, the worst thing ever happens… I have a complete mental block. I worry about how shit my idea is, worry about how I don’t post as much as I want to, dither about my Instagram, procrastinate for 30 minutes and then give up and go to sleep. Classic me.
The annoying thing is, I know exactly what I’m doing and I even know why I’m doing it – it’s because I don’t think I’m good enough… I doubt myself. But it’s not because I don’t feel good enough for someone else (okay, maybe a little), it’s because I don’t feel good enough for me. I never fit to my high standards of wanting to be perfect all the time, but the truth is, my idea of “perfect” is always impossible.
I’ve been told sooo many times by friends that they love my blog, they love my writing and they even love my style (wow, lol) but the thing is, I still wouldn’t believe them even if they hit me in the face. This kinda thing, confidence, comes from within, and the only person that can fix that is yourself.
The story of my self-doubt sort of begun when I was in my final year of uni. I kind of plodded along until I realised that I actually wanted to do shit with my life – I wanted to move to a new place and I wanted to work in social media and content creation. It was a huge relief knowing what I wanted, but at the same time I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to be at my absolute best at what I do 24/7.
Now I’m not talking about the “best” where you do everything you can with what you’ve got. I’m talking about the unattainable best. The “I must churn out content that is 100% flawless every time without fail” best. Basically, something that’s impossible for someone who doubts themselves, because nothing, absolutely nothing, is good enough. Recently I’ve actually started to dull myself down, making myself seem less capable than I am, just because I don’t want people to have high expectations of me. I don’t want them to be disappointed when I create my crappy content.
Now this mind-set stresses me out so much that I end up not doing anything at all. I end up procrastinating it all away and finding reasons to go make a cup of tea. Next thing I know I’m cleaning my living room and watching another episode of Fresh Prince.
I’m so critical of myself. It’s rare – actually completely unheard of – that I publish something that I’m happy with. As I publish something, thoughts like “I could have added that,” “Those pictures could be better,” and “I could have done a different spin on this” start to take over my overcrowded brain. Just publish it already!
But then, after I’ve hit publish, something amazing happens. I get positive messages about my so-called mediocre content and comments from people who totally resonated with what I’ve produced. They compliment my writing, my ideas and even me. Something that’s absolutely unbelievable to a gal with a load of self-doubt. For a very brief moment I think – Maybe they’re telling the truth? Maybe they totally get me? Maybe they actually like what I do? It’s super refreshing, and well worth the pain of pressing publish.
This behaviour is not unheard of with me though. It links back to my greatly missed final year of uni. As I was finishing my dissertation I seriously thought I was going to get the worst marks ever. I thought if I passed, I would have scraped it… but it turns out I got 76%, and I graduated with 1st class honours. Something to this day I can’t believe happened. I honestly convinced myself that I was going to fail and end up working in a shop for the rest of my life.
It’s weird how our brains can convince us that we’re shit, or not as good as we could be – it leads me to wonder what we could achieve if we were actually confident in ourselves? I can tweak something 1000 times (exactly what I’m doing right now), and re-read something even more, but I’m never going to learn, improve or grow if I don’t just post the damn thing.
What about you, do you have self-doubt or low confidence? Have you found a way to combat it?