Holy guacamole, have you ever noticed how heavy it is? It's like dragging around a football field full of boulders that seem to yell, "You'll just suck, so don't even try!" Well, if boulders could talk, they might say that.
Expressing that doubt, letting it slip from your mouth, will only net comments such as, "Believe in yourself!" and "You can do it!"
Whatever "it" is, believing in oneself is infinitely harder than simply adopting a positive attitude.
Believing in oneself requires affirmation that you're doing [insert whatever you're doing here] in such a fabulously wonderful way as to incite people to swoon and fawn over you.
Not really, but boy...wouldn't that be sweet!
Seriously though, suffers of self doubt need to know they are doing it right and that there will be a receptive audience. It's really a slippery slope, because while these people (you and me) crave affirmation, they (we) are extremely adept at deflecting it by assuming any kudos are superficial and said for the sake of being nice. This is especially true of compliments from family. Admit it, you've gotten one (or several) and have chalked it up to the giver being supportive because they have to or they love you and don't want to hurt your feelings.
You see yourself in that statement above, don't you. (it isn't a question - see, no question mark thingy).
And so, you enable your Doubt Monster to grow bigger.
This is a beast of your own making. My own making. Our own making. You can argue that putting yourself out there and being shot down has created your self doubt and that the monster isn't your design.
But you're wrong.
I believe we can become addicted to self doubt. When we profess our failings, family and friends (our audience, in some cases) rally to lift us up. Claiming ourselves unworthy then feeding off the praise can become an intoxicating cycle - because it is all praise, no failure. When you come up for air, you've found that nothing is accomplished, you're in the same spot and you start the process all over again. Because, despite the praise....you still doubt.
Seriously, stop the insanity.
Don't give the Doubt Monster any more real estate in your brain than it deserves. Doubt is a healthy instinct, you need it - for example, when in hot humid Florida and you find yourself near a murky swimming hole and you think, "OH...I'll just take a quick dip...'cause I'm so HOT!!" Then in creeps Healthy Doubt with, "Don't you think there could be an alligator in that muck?" See...you just doubted the safety of the pond, thus saving yourself from being some prehistoric creatures lunch. THAT is Healthy Doubt.
The other shit? It has to go.
Right here, right now - if you see yourself in this post - then you are going to stop the self hatin' and start believing in yourself.
No, no, no, no...you are not going to mutter under your breath, "Pfft...easier said than done." Because it IS just as easy done as said. You just do it. You cut off the conversations in your head that try to reason why you shouldn't take a risk (we all know I'm not talking sky diving or betting your life savings on a horse race). I'm talking the risk of believing you do something well and are worthy of the praise ALREADY being heaped up on you by people who probably know better than you. Besides, not accepting their belief in you is a kind of insulting, don't ya think?
Enough with the addictive cycle of seeking out affirmation that you are good enough, just start being good enough. Or not. At least then you'll know and won't wait until you're drawing your last breath to wonder, "What if just tried?"
Don't roll your eyes at me! I'll come over there and give you SUCH a peench.
What have you got to lose? This is a truly legit question. You need, MUST, stop and ask it of yourself right now.
"What have I got to lose?"
Remember, the only one feeding the Doubt Monster is you. It is your beast of burden, yours to tame and control. You can either keep feeding yourself to it or you can put it back in its proper place - which is being watchful of murky water and unseen things with big teeth.
This post was written for you, because you need to be reminded of your self worth. But we really know that I'm pep talking myself, right? I'm just hoping you'll join me, because my back is starting to hurt from lugging around all those foul mouthed, whiny boulders.
So, how about it?
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!ReplyDelete
I think this is so true - we feed the monster because it's easier than taking a chance and possibly failing for real.
And you are also right about the fact that at some point you just have to DO IT. Put it out of your mind and let it go. That's when things start to change! And I'm saying this from experience.
I heart you!!
Aw, shucks. I'm blushing all magenta and stuff! Thank you. "Put your mind to it and let it go." So very true, because it is all the Naughty Doubt that keeps me from moving forwad(and not just me...others like me...we're like...everywhere.Delete
Keep on keepin' on! (what part of my ass did I pull THAT phrase out of...1972?)
Wow, thanks for this very direct post that you must have written after a scary journey through my head!ReplyDelete
So THAT'S where I was. Dude, I was like, "Jeepers, this place is familiar...but like not." Your head was fun and see!! It yielded a post people like. Kudos to us!Delete
This is so awesome! I wish you could see me standing here cheering, right now. Getting out there and just doing it is so risky but SO VALUABLE. There is strength (and sometimes hilarity) in falling, and so much glory (however quiet) in getting back up and trying again. *fist bump* You rock, lady!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm trying, really trying! I'm the engine that could (sans the little part), "I think I can...I think I can..."Delete
Desi linked me here. This post of yours...I really needed to read it right now. Plus, I decided to draw my Doubt Monster. Maybe it'll be easier for me to face him now that he has a face. I uploaded him, and you can find him here: http://kisschronicles.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/doubtmonster.jpgReplyDelete
I love your monster! Such a little Pudgy McPudgerson! You can totally take him and kick him to the curb! Although, I kind of think he's cute. Maybe you should keep him around for the big teeth moments.Delete
I'm glad this helped (I hope it did). Thanks for coming by!!
KissChronicles linked me here. Yes to all of this. And KissChronicles' is right - DoubtMonster is easier to face with a face!ReplyDelete
I agree, the faceless monster isn't nearly as full of face as one...um...with a face. Boy, lost brain function there for a second. Anywhoo...if you'd like to visit the Wordless Wednesday section of my blog you'll see why it's better that I DON'T draw. http://www.myalienbody.com/p/wordless-wednesday-here.htmlDelete
Thanks for the visit and comment!
Oh my god, I'm so inspired right now - I just quit my job and sold my grandmother's war bonds to sustain me while I become the World's Next Top Model!!!! Thank you!ReplyDelete
(I think your next post should be about the guilt-monster!)
No, seriously - really great post. You been doing some thinkin' on this topic, I see. <3
There has to be balance in the world, or else we'll throw everything out of whack and the Zombies will rise and consume us all! Except me, 'cause I'll be their Queen. What? Where was I going with this? Oh...yeah...if you defeat the Doubt Monster, he'll be replaced with something else - in this case the Guilt Monster. Actually, that monster is always here and always annoying, like right when I stick that donut in my mouth and then the second donut. Sheesh....Delete
Thank you! I have been doing some thinking, muches and bunches of it.