People often say that because I do so much stuff I can’t possibly doubt myself.
Yes, I can write books, I can pitch to publishers, I can spend an entire day talking to over 200 school kids, I can sit on stage and be interviewed at writer’s festivals, I’m not afraid to enter my photography into competitions, and yes I can risk everything to quit my job and start my own business.
But do I have doubt? Shit yes.
Every day I doubt what the hell I’m doing.
That’s how I know I’m alive.
Riding the ragged edge of doubt where every sinister voice in your head is telling you that what you’re about to do is the most foolish thing you’ve ever done and still doing it, regardless of the potential ridicule, is the most exciting and bravest acts you can do for yourself.
We’re conditioned to live life in the safe zone, where nothing happens except losing a few more brain cells watching Love Island Australia. And that’s only after we’ve come home exhausted working a day job we barely enjoy, to pay for the house we only live in for a few hours a day.
A life of safe zones, monotony and idle gossip doesn’t make for an interesting one. You don’t find adventure by sitting on the couch watching Home and Away. You don’t find your own voice, by living through someone elses.
At times, the stray cat of doubt does hold me back from pushing through with a project or an idea, but as soon as I think of the alternative, something snaps, and I go ahead and make it happen anyway. I realise I have nothing to lose.
I can sit in my own fear and continue to question my abilities and stare at the potential ridicule and failures or I could simply say ‘fuck it’ and go ahead. I have no idea what I’m doing anyway, so if it goes pear shaped, I can try something different.
Doubt is part of the creation process. It’s the hi octane biofuel you need to power your projects and endeavours. If you don’t have doubt, then you’re not creating anything worthwhile. You’re still in a boring and stale comfort zone.
So when you sense the stray cat of self doubt come sneaking in, look into its eyes and give it a biscuit before it ransacks your entire secret stash of Tim Tams and undermines your confidence. You’re the one in control here.
Feel the doubt, pause and push through.
You’re about to make magic and your life will be richer for it.
‘Find Your Creative Mojo – How to Overcome Fear, procrastination and self-doubt to express your true self’ will be out in September through Big Sky Publishing.