Self-doubt can be crippling. Call on friends, you know which ones, to help you fight this battle.
This week has not been a good week. Out of 10, I’d give it a meagre 3 and 2 of those points are just for not falling over or something equally as embarrassing in my first client presentation.
After being away from my job for a whole year, coming back and just ‘getting on with it’ is actually quite hard. Lots of things have changed, the world didn’t stand still whilst I populated it with one more person. My confidence has taken a real knock. What if I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore? What if someone asks me a question I can’t answer? Can I still deliver what everyone expects whilst managing a busy family life as well?
And then I thought about this blog. Should I carry on writing? It actually takes quite a lot of effort and therefore time. It’s not like it’s been a lifelong passion that I’m finally living out or anything like that. This just happened, I started writing 6 weeks ago, having not ever previously considered it. So I could just let it disappear into nothing, as quickly as it arrived.
Urgghh, but something inside me doesn’t want to let go of it, like a child with a new toy. Mine, mine, mine MINE! Back off self-doubt.
It has ignited something in me that I didn’t know existed. It gives me a real buzz, much like photography does. For me, photography is about capturing a moment, which means anyone can do it, on any kind of equipment. But when you get that shot, the shot that tells the exact story you want it to, it’s just an immense feeling. And to my utter surprise, this is how I’m also feeling about writing.
I’m not winning a Pulitzer prize for my photography anytime soon and it’s the equivalent with words. I know my writing is not ‘technically’ good, as I use an online editing tool that insists on frequently telling me so. It says things like:-
6 of your 20 sentences are hard to read
2 of your 20 sentences are very hard to read
6 adverbs, aim for 5 of fewer
I don’t know what to do with that? I will endeavour to learn of course. I want to be better but I also don’t want to stop whilst that process happens.
Another reason I don’t want to stop despite the aforementioned disapproval is that I remembered something a client said to me about 2 years ago. He said, “You’re funny Michelle because you write emails exactly the same way as you talk”. I think he meant I am informal and I will often, for people I know well, forgo any kind of greeting and get straight to the point. Unlike my Dad for example, who still starts every email to me with ‘Dear Michelle’. And then precedes to send me a text message to tell me he has sent me an email (which makes me smile, every time). Sorry, I digress……
The point of bringing that up is because it’s exactly what my blog is, it’s just me talking, I am starting a conversation here. This is just me, talking to just you and that’s what I like about it. This isn’t fictional writing where I’m trying to create a new universe for you to immerse yourself in and forget about normality. It’s quite the opposite in fact. This is just normal life. I want to write about things that people can actually relate to because real life provokes real emotions.
Whilst it’s not perfect, (I am quite self-aware, don’t worry) if we were having a face to face conversation I’m not going to stop half way through to Google synonyms to make myself sound clever am I? So I won’t here either. This is as clever as it’s going to get people!
I spoke to a good friend in the week whilst wading knee-deep through self-doubt. The kind of friend that you don’t talk to really regularly but when you do they give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. We have the type of conversations that are worth waiting for.
He told me to “get out of my own way”….What a brilliant analogy, I am banking that for later use.
It’s a good point though and I do need to be told occasionally. Because it’s true isn’t it, sometimes you are the only person stopping yourself.
So for now, I am giving Michelle a swift elbow to the ribs. I am re-reading some of the positive comments I have had so far as they are affording me just enough momentum and confidence to carrying on.
Stay with me…….?