"When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming." — Dory, Finding Nemo
Life is overwhelming. That is a basic fact. Most of us choose to accept this and continue on, breezing through difficult life decisions and easily overcoming challenges. But there are the select few of us, well a lot of us actually, who struggle and can’t find that crutch to overcome the obstacles blocking our growth. For me, I have mental health issues that will essentially span for the rest of my life and they can feel extremely crippling at times. While a lot of people are pushing forward and rising above their challenges, I am hiding under the covers hoping to avoid mine.
One of my most recent challenges has been self-doubt. Ever since I was little I have had such enormous anxiety stemming from my struggle to succeed and my fear of failure. But, as an adult, my fear of failure has only turned into an overwhelming inevitability. I constantly feel as though I will fail in everything I do.
More recently, this fear of failure has developed more into a fear of failing at what I do the best, creating. I have some warped desire to please those around me, and in doing so I feel as though I have to prove that I am an artist. Which in turn puts more pressure on my psyche and fuels my determination to succeed but also feeds the voices of self-doubt. Every day for the past two weeks questions surrounding success and whether or not I am even worthy, or if it’s even worth fighting for has swirled around my head.
Due to self-doubt, I have been questioning every single action, and decision I have made. Second-guessing yourself has never led to anything helpful so I have driven myself deeper into a dark space while pushing away everything that makes me feel whole and fulfilled.
I have to keep reminding myself that I am not pursuing my career in the arts as a way of proving to the world that I am worthy. It is because I am meant to do it. I am meant to be creative and am striving to live an alternative lifestyle. I can’t fit in with the traditional routine, I think differently. I act differently. I am different. In a world of people trying to be similar, being different is a hard fact to accept. But once you do, it changes your perspective and kicks your self-doubt to the curb.
Every day now, I remind myself that I am allowed to be myself and that it’s okay. If I experience a self-doubt thought, I pause and play a motivational game. I ask myself why I feel negative. I then tell myself it’s okay to feel that way. After, I motivate myself by reminding myself there are others who also feel this way. I also remind myself that I am unique. Lastly, I tell myself that I have to keep going, and I list reasons why.
Surprisingly, I have found that this game has been working in multiple ways. I start feeling more comfortable with myself, and I also push negative thoughts to the back of my head. If you too deal with self-doubt often, please try to use this method to tell those negative thoughts to go away. The best way to come out of a negative feeling or headspace is to recognize it and find a positive and more optimistic solution to transition into.
What gives you self-doubt? Leave a comment below telling me how you overcome it!