I don’t for a second doubt that I have made the right choice to wave goodbye to full time employment. Not for a moment. But I have had moments where I have sat and questioned myself, and that is when the lovely feeling of Self Doubt pops in to say hello.
Now, Self Doubt doesn’t care when she makes an appearance. I have noticed she seems to strut into my thoughts at any point in the day, and particularly likes to pipe up at night just as I am winding down and getting into bed
Self Doubt likes to mostly ask the following questions of me:
What if I don’t have the knowledge and skills to make my business and books a success?
What if I focus on the wrong part first and it all flops?
What if it starts to go well and then all goes wrong?
What if I put my heart and soul into this and it doesn’t all turn out how I had hoped?
What if I really struggle to motivate myself on some days and am not productive at all?
What if, what if, what if!!!
She can be an insistent pain in the backside who at times just doesn’t know when to shut up.
I have decided on a game plan – I’m going to introduce her to some other characteristics of mine that do quite well at holding their ground, and in moments when she is making me feel like putting off writing a blog post/chapter of my book/researching for my business plan I will bring the following guys to the party:
So how will these above party goers help me exactly?
Well these group of girls just uplift you when you simply spend time in their presence. No matter what time of the day it is they just bring great energy.
- Creativity – well she basically brings the pure excitement and flair! When Creativity is in full flow everyone else just waits to see what she will do next and what random thoughts and ideas become exciting avenues to explore. When she is doing her thing Self Doubt will have no choice but to sit in the corner and pick chewing gum off the underside of the table to keep herself entertained.
However, on occasions when everyone has got a little too drunk and merry off of Creativity’s free pouring and dance moves Self Doubt can start to get a bit loud. Recently she took this opportunity to strut up to the DJ and unplug the turnstiles from the wall and shout to a silent room ‘Okay great, good idea! What now though? You don’t even know where to begin with all of this!’
Having heard enough of her whining (as this isn’t the first time) it is at this point that Resilience decides to take matters into her own hands and marches across the dancefloor and punches Self Doubt right on the nose. She isn’t knocked unconscious, but is at least quietened down and she decides to go and sit back down in the corner again with the chewed up chewing gum.
- Resilience – is not one to mess with, ever! I mean of course she has her weak moments, but generally she is solid and if ever there is a problem, a hold up or something that needs to get done then Resilience is always the top of the list in your phone book to call up to ask to come around and just bulldoze through all the shit so that you can keep on walking. No-one likes to walk shit into the house, especially dog shit, that stuff is dreadful to get out of the carpet.
Following up close behind, and restraining Resilience from throwing a second punch, is Curiosity. She came over to see what all the noise and commotion is about because….well…she is curious!
- Curiosity – is absolutely fabulous and when something really sparks her interest she wants to know more! She is at her most engaged when abroad taking in new cultures, and has a keen interest in food (ice-cream is her weak point and if it is red velvet flavour then it is game over). Curiosity has become a much louder member of the group in the last year – and this is by no means a coincidence that it has been since I started making a mental shift about how I wanted my life to change and the ways I was going to make that happen.
Whilst Curiosity has Resilience in a restraining arm-lock so that she can’t keep swinging any more left hooks she looks around for her best pal Knowledge to come and provide some much needed back up. However, to no-ones surprise she is sat at one of the corner tables reading.
Curiosity has become incredibly close to Knowledge over recent months too – they seem to bounce well off of each other and if this was a teen chick flick book chapter instead of a blog then they would be the ‘ultimate BFF’s’ OMG, like, totally.
- Knowledge – freely admits that she likes to be right and she also loves learning new perspectives and opinions. In the past when a topic came up for discussion on a subject matter she wasn’t really well versed in then she would ordinarily just write herself off and say that she doesn’t have experience in that matter and would readily defer to someone who does. But recently Knowledge has turned over a new leaf thanks to Curiosity, and can’t seem to stop wanting to learn and find out more about topics. Therefore because of this she has become the one you can’t rely on to have your back in a fight as she likes to be in bed by 10pm with a good book rather than necking another Vodka and Coke and dancing to Michael Jackson.
Resilience has now been subdued and goes back across to the other side of the room to continue her conversation that she was having with her sister-from-another-mister Perseverance. These two have been inseparable for years and always push each other to achieve more – particularly when it comes to anything sporty and competitive. Speaking of which this means Perseverance is now nowhere to be seen as she has gone out into the alleyway to try and beat the bartender at kicking a football into the dumpster 30 yards up the street. Resilience knows Perseverance won’t be back for at least another fifteen minutes as she will need to master the technique and do it three times in a row to prove that it wasn’t a fluke before she can come back into the club. When she finally returns Resilience tells her what just happened on the dance floor and they both glare at Self Doubt on the other side of the room.
- Perseverance – is the backbone of the group. When she finds something that she is good at, or something that she is not good at but wants to be, she won’t quit until she has mastered it. She is the one who knows that through experience that if at first you don’t succeed then try and try again. She has also been taking her cue from seeing how children interact with the world as they see and learn new things each and everyday. Her conclusion is that if they try and fail in their first, second, third and multiple attempts in things such as learning to walk or not how not to shit themselves, and persevere until they learn how to do it then she herself can bloody well learn how to code and workout how to design a website!
Once again Self Doubt is the odd one out at the party, with no friends and no-one to talk, and as I am writing this I actually feel sorry for her! She is only talking from past experience of when I started something and didn’t finish it, or when I tried something and it didn’t work, and ultimately that left me sad or upset and questioning my abilities and worth. When I break it down the reality of it is that Self Doubt has my back, she is looking out for me. She wants me to be safe and secure and happy and knows all of these recent decisions I have made to go it alone don’t guarantee that.
So I have decided I am not going to shut her out and not to let her get silenced at the party by the others who are not wanting to hear her and simply shouting over her (or Resilience who is trying to knock her out).
I need to embrace her.
It is important I make an inclusive space in which she can voice certain fears, as sometimes she does have valid points that means i need to scrutinise the solution to these problems in a bit more detail. However regarding the ‘bigger picture’ worries that I mentioned at the start of this post, if her worries are listened to then in turn she will be more likely to listen to everyone else in the room and listen to reason as to why the root of these doubts that she speaks of, although yes are good to be aware of, ultimately are not compatible with the happy future I see and need to build for myself.
In time she will see.
She will see that I can do this.
She will see that I will succeed on this path.
Then she can retire young and laze on a beach with a Pina Colada.
Thanks for reading,