First off, I’m not fishing for compliments on this one. I just promised myself to share the highs and struggles on here, and well…I’ve been-a strugglin’. Self Doubt: I kind of hint at it every now and then, but it’s becoming borderline crippling for me lately. So, I figured sometimes typing out the hard stuff helps me 1: make sense of it all, or 2: hopefully improve, or 3: relate with someone out there who might happen to stumble on this post.
So yeah. Self-doubt. It’s a massive struggle for me. Actually the inner dialogue I’m having with myself as I type this is borderline comical. In a dark comedy type of way. And that’s how it is lately, I literally could psyche myself out of posting, writing, or creating anything. All I tend to want to do is zone out and shop for expensive sweatpants.
“Why bother?” “Who are you to give advice/write about on that?” “It’s not that good.” “What’s the point?” “I doubt anyone will like that.” “You’re going to . come across as narcissistic” …you know, majorly uplifting and encouraging stuff like that.
But the best thing to do is ignore that stupid voice in my head, and keep on keeping on. Which is what I’m doing. But man some days it’s hard. Is it burn out? Is it Social media? Is it being a mom of a 3-year-old boy in a new town where he and my dog (who kind of scares off everyone but our new handyman who I’m convinced is the dog whisperer) are my main human interactions in a day? (Yes I consider my dog to be a human. Which might be an underlying reason for her issues.) Is it the time of year? Is it all of the above? Who knows.
I know all the inspirational quotes: doubt kills creativity and dreams, what if you fall, oh but what if you fly, darling (gosh I love when they add darling.) I’ve read them. And pinned accordingly. And I honestly feel guilty even writing this post. (See that inner dialogue is creeping in again).
But then when I step back, I actually think it’s a somewhat normal behavior. I mean is it healthy to think you and what you are doing is awesome 24/7? Nope. I view myself and my life as a constant work in progress, and although I’m pretty darn driven and motivated (minus when wanting to binge shop Monrow sweats) I have about seven WTF am I doing moments a day. Did I say seven, I meant 17.
Insert random art history lesson here:
When I studied in France, I read a biography on the painter Giacometti. I, to this day, remember, multiple conversations he had with a friend/apprentice where he would say (to paraphrase) his paintings/sculptures looked like absolute crap. So he’d just keep on painting, then paint it, then paint over it and then over it again and again, until he just couldn’t stand it and walked away (aka finished it and moved onto the next piece). His paintings and sculptures are worth millions ( as in 20 or 100), and I think are beyond mesmerizing. You can almost see his frustration in his brushstrokes and the muddled colors.
Pretty sure he kind of had crippling self-doubt, too. Man, I liked that book. I totally forgot the title or else I’d read it again.
The point of the art history lesson is this: I kind of thinks self-doubt is not only part of being human, but it’s also a HUGE part of being creative. I’m a firm believer that if you think you’ve arrived, and are as good as it gets, it’s just not a good place to be. In terms of art, you can always grow. It’s a constant fine-tuning, that really is never done, until you stop creating. In terms of how I am as a person, I’ll say it again. I’m a constant work in progress. As in a Fixer-Upper not even Chip and Joanna can work their magic on. But I’d accept their help any day.
Which makes me realize, maybe this self-doubt is a good thing. Because it means this blog, my work, my art and my creating is a struggle. Which means it’s growing, changing, or being fine-tuned. And as much as the struggle and lack of encouragement my cranium likes to dish out can suck the joy out things, it’s kind of necessary. So as with all ups and downs, maybe trying to embrace this struggle might be a good call too.
Ok, now what’s the game plan? I don’t really know. So let me make one up.
1: Put my blinders on (blinders mean ignoring any outside factors which might be contributing to the struggle: analytics, the comparison game, any type of numerical figure that technology these days tries to use to value your worth) ..and JUST…KEEP…GOING.
2: Put stuff out there, even if it’s not perfect. You have no clue who you might impact in a positive way, just by sharing something. (I need to tell myself this more often.) Plus, there is WAY too much cookie cutter perfect stuff out there, darling.
3: Take a break. It’s ok to stop, breathe and regroup. Maybe even sleep a little more. Maybe even take a few minutes from time to time to get dressed, take care of myself, throw on some makeup and do some beach waves, and enjoy a cup of coffee while my son naps…instead of trying to keep up with some unobtainable goal or image of success my jerk of a cranium likes to imagine.
4: Rock some more tropical prints. Because I’m 100% convinced that’s one of life’s great problem solvers when it comes to confidence and motivation.
5: Cave in and buy a pair of expensive sweats.
Sounds like a good plan. Or at least a good start.
There you go. You have no idea how good it felt to write all of that.
Cheers to sunny days, gray days, happy seize the day kind of days, wanting to curl up in a ball and watch TBS romcoms on repeat days, days when I feel like I can get so much s**t done that I feel like I’m part ninja and days when I find myself staring blankly at a wall wondering what the heck am I doing, and why am I still in my sweaty workout gear from three hours ago.
Thanks for reading this. Going to embrace this awkward, yet necessary struggle and we will see how it goes.
PIctured above: A simple l’il pic I love but tell myself no to post, for dozens of reasons. Aka a perfect pic to use for this post.