An Open Letter To All Creatives On Self-Doubt
Okay, Couragemakers who struggle with self-doubt, listen up. Sometimes on this creative and dream chasing journey, we all need reminders which are a bit more of a kick up the ass.
Today is one of those days.
So here’s the thing:
If you are looking for evidence that you’re shit, you’re going to find it.
If you're looking for evidence that you should just stop and not bother, again, you’re going to find it. If you’re looking for evidence that you have nothing to say and you’re a fraud, you’re going to find it.
If you’re looking for a reason not to write another word, paint another stroke or create another community event or whatever brilliant shit you do - you, my friend, are going to find it.
But here’s the really important thing. That doesn’t mean it’s actually there, or it’s real.
Self-doubts are a bunch of pernicious little fuckers.
They worm their way into each crack. They find a way to get in even with a million rolls of duct tape covering the hole. They do everything they can in their power to try to stop you writing another word, stop you from showing your work to the world and putting yourself out there.
Truth, by the way, doesn’t come into it when it comes to self-doubt.
They exist in order for your brain to try to keep you safe from danger and not take risks. But we’re not cave people anymore.
Unless you’re taking a Wild inspired trip alone, chances are that you’re not being hunted and your brain can calm the fuck down a little.
I know, I know, that’s easier said than done.
But let’s take a step back, okay? And instead let’s focus on imagination instead - your wonderful imagination.
Your ability to create stories, your ability to paint the world with your experiences, ideas and your memories.
And those things are incredible. However, as Ben Parker tells us in Spiderman, ‘with great power comes great responsibilities’.
Yes, you can create things only you can do that make the world a brighter place, but the flip side of your wonderful creative brain is your refined skill of being able to conjure up some pretty nasty hypothetical situations, that keep you down.
It’s amazing if you think about it - your imagination gives you the ability to try to predict the words that will come out of other people’s mouths before the topic of conversation even exists. You can picture yourself failing before you’ve even started.
So let’s go back to that responsibilities bit. The bit where you have responsibilities to yourself.
Because, my friend - if you focus your attention to possibility instead of failure, you’re going to find a huge heap of completely contrary evidence.
If you take those same critical skills and start looking for the polar opposite, you’re going to find a mountain of good shit.
And that’s your responsibility:
To find and create the stories where you find the evidence that in fact you can do it, and you should keep going.
To flip the narrative and give self-doubt the middle finger.
I know fear feels scary. I know that feeling of putting yourself on trial for being a fraud. I know that the stories feel very real indeed.
But they’re only as real as you let them be.
So go grab Watson and go get serious about finding the evidence that you can do it, that you’re uniquely qualified to do the work you do, and that you have something to say.
And like any good detective, record every single piece of evidence you find, no matter how small. Write yourself a note when you’re working on a project and feel like you’re on fire, take screenshots of any great feedback you receive and take time to check your evidence regularly.
Couragemaker - the world needs what you have to say.
And I happen to know that you have a hell of a lot to say.