This is a recovered post from a botched website transfer in 2014. It was originally written and published on 06/06/2013.
Yesterday, Seth Godin shipped his 5,000th blog post. The post inspired me, and the links it referenced – links to older, still-resonant posts – were equally inspiring. I could feel the build-up within me: excitement rising along with an idea on the cusp of blooming.
And then I hesitated. “Who am I?” came the niggling voice of self-doubt. “Who am I to dream big, to want more, to desire better? Who am I to think I have what it takes?”
Who Am I?
I’m no stranger to self-doubt, and I suspect most people aren’t. It seems to be a daily visitor. The good thing is, it doesn’t stay for long. The bad thing is, it leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Maybe that’s why I couldn’t seem to drink enough water yesterday. I drank at least a gallon, and it wasn’t a hot day. Maybe I was unconsciously washing away that bitter aftertaste.
I’m a person who has a lot of skills and talents. I’m learning that can be as much a curse as a blessing.
It’s a blessing to be able to do so many different things, certainly. I’m a regular Jane-of-all-trades, which opens up multiple streams of potential income.
Want me to proof that blog post ($.50 per 100 words), bake you a loaf of bread ($5.00 regular/$10.00 meal loaf), design your new sales flyer (depends on many factors), clean up your computer’s files and organize them and your office, too ($25.00/hour), ease your pain ($45.00 per session), hem your pants ($4.00 per quarter-hour), remove an aggressive ghost from your house ($35.00), and marry you to your childhood sweetheart ($45.00)? Sure, I can do that.
It’s also a curse, in part because it’s a marketing nightmare, but mostly because I want to hone in on a few specialized skills. (niggle) I’m in a position where I need to be practical rather than picky, (niggle) and must agree to even those things that don’t float my boat so much. (niggle) Specialized must come later. (niggle niggle)
Self-Doubt Likes First Place
I think of self-doubt as a misguided defense mechanism. In that hesitation, in that space where self-doubt enters, caution flags wave wildly, and shouts of “but what if” and “who do I think I am” drown out the cheering section.
Self-doubt is a warped sense of safety. It keeps me – maybe you, too – from implementing that idea, or taking that leap of faith, or picking myself.
The thing to do, of course, is not hesitate. If that’s not possible, then maybe training my mind to ignore the niggles is the thing.
What I know for sure is, self-doubt needs to be kicked to the curb.
What Do You Think?
Does self-doubt slow you down? Have you mastered a way to keep it at bay?