I have a confession: I run on full tanks of self-doubt.
Like, if issues with self-confidence were an Olympic sport, I’d be on a plane home from South Korea right now with a neck full of Golds. 😎
I’ve always been a dreamer. Very ambitious. I wanted to do all of the things and know that if I had put my mind to any one of them, I probably could have succeeded. But that form is nothing without a good follow-through.
No matter how much I’m saying, “you could have” nowadays, that little voice in the back of my head that said “you can’t, though” was always the loudest back when it mattered.
And if I’m being 100% honest with you, it is still loud. Very loud. Hindsight is 20/20 and after I finish something that made me nervous or doubt myself, I think “well that wasn’t so bad, why did I worry so much?” and vow not to let my insecurities be so debilitating next time.
But it still happens. Photography jobs in particular get me bad. One of the things I have always loved doing the most, and the little devil inside on my shoulder whispers that I’m not cut out for it when the angel isn’t looking. People are paying me money to capture their moments. So naturally, I freak out and wonder if I’m as good as what they are expecting to get out of a photo session. If anyone looks at my photos the way I look at others’ on Pinterest or their photography websites.
Let’s put it this way— if I had a nickel for every time I told myself I sucked? Well, I wouldn’t be staying in this dump for 2.5 more weeks, that’s for damn sure. 😂
But I’m officially done with that. I’ve recently realized that there is someone else who could break all of my Olympic records in self-doubt, and if I’m going to preach to them, well, then I better start taking my own advice, if I expect someone else to follow it, right? Because, I know the advice is true. And it’s so easy to see when you’re not the one blinded by panic when faced with tasks you feel too weak to accomplish, or deadlines that you feel too incompetent to meet.
🌟 Your Problem Isn’t Unique. Believe me when I tell you, every single person on this planet who is chasing a goal or dream has self-doubt. It helps me a lot to know that when I look up to someone, that person sees the same negativity in their own mirror that I do in mine. But they still go out there and kill it when it counts. For example, Adele. Powerhouse, no? The girl has stage fright and throws up before concerts. Didn’t see that one coming. So keep that in mind next time you feel like everyone else has it easier.
🌟 Remind Yourself of Prior Success. When I freeze up and all of my pose ideas disappear from my brain the second the client asks, “what should I do?” I think back to the reviews past clients have left me. Not to mention, in this day and age, if someone pays for something, they have done their research. Especially for those of you with portfolio-based careers or talent. The people hiring you have already seen your work and they like it. Their expectations are what you’re clearly already capable of doing. Remembering that helps to take the edge off the nerves.
Think back to the other times you have rocked it, and remind yourself that you can and will again.
🌟 Don’t Overthink It. I think this is probably everyone’s biggest mistake nowadays. We make mountains out of the smallest molehills. Make small goals and tackle one thing at a time. Don’t turn something small into a catastrophe. At the end of the day, unless you’re a surgeon, no one is going to die if for some reason things don’t go perfectly. So don’t put that extra pressure on yourself.
🌟 You Are Your Own Worst Critic. Does this need anymore explanation? Everyone tells us that. And they tell us that because it’s the truth. Cut yourself the slack you allow everyone else. If we held everyone else to the impossibly high standards to which we hold ourselves? No one would succeed at anything.
Give them a try. I promise they are the real deal. And the proof? It’s probably the same advice you give to anyone else when they are feeling stressed or self-conscious, right? Take your own advice! 💖