I seek strength, not to be greater than other, but to fight my greatest enemy, the doubts within myself.–P.C. Cast
Self-doubt is the enemy of creativity. In my own work, I have found that it creeps in when I am delivering on a project that requires me to be held accountable by a group of people–a larger team structure that differs from our usual work flow of just myself and a collaborative partner. For me personally, self-doubt announces its presence in the more invisible, quiet moments of my day as opposed to the moments that are more public and visible to the outside world.
We are all affected by our experiences, and professionally I’ve had my fair share of tough days in the earlier years that shaped me. We all do. That’s life, and everything makes you stronger. What I find interesting is that those feelings of self-doubt and fear that I used to have in my twenties still reappear, no matter how hard I work and how much new experience I gain.
Last week I found myself much more in my own head than usual. I couldn’t figure out what the source of the issue was, until I forced myself to use my morning journaling practice to write every doubt, fear and anxiety that was swirling around in my head as fast as I could — my inner monologue, unfiltered. I dumped everything out of my head for 45 minutes straight, and once it was all out I realized it was just a bunch of self-doubting garbage.
I decided in that moment to shift my perspective. To take all of those worries and turn them into an effort to lead and problem-solve instead. Rather than let myself be worried and consumed by the things I can’t control, I shifted my focus to help tackle the things I can control and detach from the rest. So far, it has helped me push forward with the confidence I’ve felt was lacking the past few weeks.
If you ever find your thoughts swirling with the worries of self-doubt, remember that failure isn’t imperfection or making a misstep. Failure is letting those thoughts consume you to the point of not trying. The people in your life–whether professionally or personally–need your courage and your leadership more than they need your fears and your worries. Say it with me ten times:
Do not cower…step into your power!