A spider has crept into your mind and started to make a web — the imagery is gross but that’s what doubt is. It’s unwanted, sometimes unexpected and manages to slowly crawl and spin its web into every thought you have.
So what do you do when:
- Doubt makes its way in to the crevices of your mind?
- The only answer you can think of to “What do you think you’re doing?” is “I don’t freaking know!”
- You’re questioning whether you should keep pursuing or give up and the easy answer for the last 150 times is to give up?
The only answer I have for you is to PUSH THROUGH IT!
It won’t be easy but if we don’t push through the doubt and fear, it’ll stay there, questioning one idea, and then the next, until it spreads and contaminates every facet of our lives. Doubt, if left alone, will eventually kill our creativity and all that courage we mustered up to start in the first place.
When doubt comes your way…
Think your art is junk? Create anyway
Don’t think your project will amount to anything? Create anyway
I have doubts about my writing, about my ideas, my content. I have trouble finding inspiration and wonder if I’ll ever be able to think of a new idea ever again or if it’ll resonate with anyone else. But I’m going to push through and create anyway because it matters to me. It helps me grow and be creative and I believe that if even just one person reads this and it helps them in any small way, it’ll be worth it.
That toxic inner dialogue runs through my head constantly and the thing that pushes me through that fear and doubt is to keep creating and putting my stuff out there even if only a handful of people are reading. I’ve decided that instead of letting fear glue me to my seat, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and try to better myself along the way because I…
Trust That It’ll Pass
If I keep pushing through those feelings of insignificance and keep plugging away, I trust that the doubt and fear will dissipate with time. The hardest part about starting something new is starting. Whether you’re a beginner or if you’ve been at something for years, you will doubt EVERYTHING! Fear and doubt is not just for beginners, my friends, they’re here to ruin the party for everyone.
You spend hours deciding what photo to use, if the font is just right; every idea and decision is in question. Take a deep breath and trust that it’ll pass if you just keep doing what you’re doing because it will.
Remember Why You Started
Go back to the day you made the decision to start writing, or drawing, or cooking or dancing. Why did you start? Probably because you liked doing it. Doubt usually sets in when there’s a big lofty goal we’ve set for ourselves, like making money and living off our creation and art; or thinking that we need to move and connect with hundreds of thousands of people. When we don’t achieve these goals at lightning speed, we begin to think, “Why am I even doing this?”, “Does this really matter to anyone?”. When doubt creeps in, go back to your humble beginnings and remember the reason you started in the first place. Enjoy the process that you fell in love with.
I’ve never written like I do now. I’ve written essays and reports but those were mandatory so I don’t know if they count. But I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing — researching, writing, proof reading, editing (although I could spend more time on this part). Some absolutely hate it but I love it. I truly believe that words can move you, create and develop imagination, convey emotion, and writing allows me to be more authentic to myself and to those around me. That’s my WHY and the reasons I’ll keep writing even when doubts swim through my mind.
“Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head”
Get rid of the spider and brush those cobwebs away. Know that everyone, from beginners to seasoned pursuers, have doubts. The only difference between the ones who stand still and the ones who move forward is that the latter don’t stay in their own heads, doubting and fearing; they’ve learned to acknowledge it, figure out why it’s there, and then push it away and that’s what we must learn to do — get out of our own heads and push fear and doubt (now and forever known to me as “kill joys”) to the side and walk on.
Originally published at possiblepursuits.com on June 7, 2017.