Dealing With Self-Doubt

Being a creative is horrible for your self-esteem. I should've been something more uplifting. Like a dolphin. Or a rainbow. 

That leads me to another confession: Sometimes I doubt myself. 
Sometimes just for a brief moment before I do a presentation or when I get a new project. Other times it lasts days. 

It can come after a series of losses (like projects dying, ideas not being sold, concepts being butchered, projects being given to other people). Or after a string of almosts (almost selling that idea, almost writing a good headline, almost coming up with something everybody loves). And usually after any iteration of the sentence "Close. But not there." 

Doubting yourself is part of the creative cycle. How you deal with it is part of your personal growth. 

You can let it cripple you and keep you from moving forward
and actually getting shit done. Or it can motivate you to just say eff it, I'm going try my hardest, since I may just fall on my ass anyway - may as well be worth it.

Over time, you'll learn what to do to help you bounce back. 

What I Do When I Think I Suck: 

1.  Go look at old work I've done, even if it hasn't gotten produced. (This sometimes shows me the good things - as well as the horrible things I now know better about.) 

2. Pull out my old poetry, especially stuff that's been published, and remind myself that I'm a good writer and, more importantly, I love writing. 

3. Make a list of things to update my resume and my book. (Whether or not I actually make said updates is another story) 

4. I ask myself, "If this were someone else's work, what would you say to them?" (The answer is never "You suck. Quit life.") 

5. Call my mom or the president of my fan club. (If you don't have a friend or family member who thinks you're the absolute best, then you need to return those awful people and ask for a refund.)

It's easy to look at yourself right now, in this very moment, and not see anything else but what's in front of you. 

Take a minute and look back at the things you're proud of. Take stock of where you've been and where you are now. Step back and look at the whole picture. 

You're not so bad after all. Shoot, you're actually kinda awesome. 

We all go through periods of self-doubt. If anyone tells you they don't they're either lying to you, lying to themselves or dangerously delusional. 

You are going to fail. You are going to think you're failing. You are going to have an itemised list of all the things you did wrong, are doing wrong and don't know how to do but will probably get it wrong anyway. You're going to think that you can do better, you can be better. People are going to tell you to do better. People won't respond to you at all.


Let that push you to be great. 

Plus, being perfect is soo boring.