In order to achieve something we want is it necessary to risk making an absolute idiot of ourselves if it all goes wrong? I’m beginning to think it is.
If we give it a go and emerge triumphant then happy days, but if we give it a go and emerge a failure then there could be some serious personal humiliation in store.
The problem is, if we want something so much, I mean really, really want it, then we’re prepared to risk achieving it at all costs, right? Right – unless of course, self doubt raises its ugly head, gets the better of us and means we never actually go through with it due to the fear of making a bit of a dick of ourselves in the process.
I’m struggling with a touch of the ol’ self doubt at the moment. If the publisher doesn’t like my book and I go with my second choice of self-publishing it, then I’ll open myself up to the criticism of, erm, let’s see – the ENTIRE WORLD! And that’s an extremely daunting prospect.
Normally in life I don’t really care if someone doesn’t like something about me – my outfit, point of view, way I bring up my child, etc. But this is different; this is my personal creation on the page and the result of months and months of hard work. If, over breakfast, I see someone has left a bad review I can’t pretend I won’t end up face down in my porridge.
Of course you’ll never please everyone, I know that and that’s fine, but here’s where self doubt creeps in – what if my book doesn’t please anyone; what if I become a laughing stock; what if my friends and family disown me; what if I’m banished from society for ever daring to think I could do this and succeed; what if, what if, what if…..
And there’s the problem, once you start doubting yourself, there’s no end to it. Well, there is, it’s when you finally talk yourself out of even trying because you’re convinced you’re bound to end up a massive failure who people will be pointing and laughing at for eternity.
I know if I’m going to get anywhere with my book then I need to suppress this self doubt and deal with whatever may come, and I want it so badly that this is what I’ve decided to do. Come what may, that book is getting out there!
I wonder how many people have been put off from having a go at something because of their own self doubt? Are there geniuses out there who were on the brink of showing their talent to the world – be it sport, acting, art or science related – just to pull back at the last minute because of this devilish emotion?
Has self doubt ever stopped you from doing anything? Where could you be now if you’d have fought through its barrier to give it a go?
I’m thinking of starting a one-woman campaign to banish self doubt forever. So say we give something a go and it goes wrong, say we get talked about and laughed at, who cares! Perhaps that will result in a great dollop of self respect that we had the gumption to give it a go, and surely that will tell our self doubt to take a hike once and for all.