Is Self Doubt Such A Bad Thing?

You never do anything right. These words slip out of my mouth nearly every day. I never know when I say them. They come from a part of my subconscious longing for perfection and judging my feeble attempts at it.

It is horrifying, to say the least. No human should ever have to hear those words. Least when spoken by your very own mouth. But self-doubt is real. It is more prevalent in some of us than the others. Not everyone says horrible things to themselves while they are doing the dishes.

For those of us who do, the battle against being little and trying to stop belittling our very selves is a bloody war. It is never ceasing.

Over the years, I have come to realize that maybe self-doubt is not such a bad thing. I use it to do better. Strange, right? Here is my process.

Whenever I am supposed to do something; write an article, sew a dress or make a cake for someone, I lose it. I mean it literally. I think of the thousands of scenarios that could go wrong. I agonize and groan while rolling on the floor. Then I get up and do it.

Sounds too easy? It is not. With every step I take, the voices in my head are louder but I get up and do what I have to do to prove them wrong.

The thing about self-doubt is that it is tied to perfectionism. A part of me always wants to get things right. It is probably the same for you too. But we are never going to be able to and that is the source of our dilemma.

Having this in mind helps me try to do my best. Self-doubt makes me want to improve. So even when I try a new recipe for brownies and they turn out great, I would still want to get better. Suddenly, I sound like some overachiever. I am not. I am just a girl with tons of self-doubt trying to get off the floor and prove that she can do something worth anything.

Even when I fail at what I do, like that one time I sold unbaked cookies to my friend (the recipe said 10 minutes, how was I to know it was not baked yet?) I know I have to try again to silence the voice in my head that says you are never do anything right.

Self-doubt is not such a bad thing when it motivates you to do better. Keep questioning yourself and keep trying. Which is what I do now. Each time I have to do something, I go through the process. I question myself. I point out my weakness. I roll on the floor. Then I get to work. I carry out the task with thoroughness and I crosscheck everything. Basically, my self-doubt motivates me to be a perfectionist. But my perfectionism has its good points. I understand that I may never attain the level which I seek but I still do the very best that I can.

If you can wrestle through your self-doubt and get things done, then it is really not such a bad thing after all.

This article was originally published on Medium in The Startup.

Stella Inabo

Poet. Budding story writer. Aspiring spoken word artiste.

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