“The only limits to our realizations of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
Doubt is a trap, and the worst kind of doubt you can fall victim to is self-doubt. As a writer, I know that I have been my own worst enemy on more than one occasion. None of us intend for this to happen, but as a species, we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else in the world could be. We have deep, endless wells of faith in others, but when it comes to the self, our wells run dry rather quickly.
Sometimes others trigger our doubts with critical remarks, but you can choose not to allow those doubts to live inside your head. Only you can allow yourself to succumb to doubt. Sure, it would be wonderful to have a broad network of supporters who never doubt you for a second, but even that can’t fix the doubts you have about yourself.
Before anything else, you have to get out your mental weed killer and kill self-doubt in its kudzu-like tracks. Self-doubt breeds the possibility for others to be able to derail you from your calling because you’re helping them rip up the rails! If you want to succeed at anything, you have to get rid of self-doubt and believe that you can do it.
You’re not always going to have others to support you and build you up. If you have faith in yourself, that’s not a problem. But, what happens when you don’t have a support network and you also suffer from self-doubt? What reason do you have to keep pressing on and pursuing your calling? If you’re riddled with self-doubt, it seems like there is no reason for you to keep moving forward. It can be overwhelming, and it can be life-shattering. Self-doubt can stop you from achieving the things you are meant to achieve in life. Self-doubt is the enemy.
As a person who struggles with bouts of depression as a result of Type II Bipolar Disorder, I know just how difficult it can be to overcome self-doubt. I know how powerful an enemy it is because I have allowed myself to be oppressed by self-doubt in the past. I’m going to tell you something that is going to sound a little harsh, but I promise you that it is meant with all the kindness in the world, and it is for your own good.
If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else is going to do it for you. It is your duty to take care of yourself. It is your duty to do the absolute best you can do for yourself. There will be times in your life when you have no one and no one believes in you (or at least it will feel that way). You are the only one that you can truly rely on to remove doubt from your life.
If you treat yourself well, if you do the absolute best you can for yourself every day, and if you believe in yourself in spite of what the rest of the world may or may not think, a wonderful thing happens! What is that thing? You find true freedom because you’ve created a better situation for yourself. The only opinion of you that ACTUALLY matters in this world is your opinion! Don’t be afraid to have faith in yourself. Listen to your calling. Pursue the things that make you feel fulfilled and like you are leading the right life for YOU, and I promise everything else will fall into place.
When you take care of yourself, the rest of the world will follow suit. So, practice your calling every day, whether it affects anyone else or not. That is why I write blog posts every single day. I am practicing my calling. I believe that writing more, and writing consistently on a daily basis is making me a better writer, and that will eventually pay off in multitudes of ways. Still, there’s only one way that practicing my calling pays off that REALLY matters, and that payoff is this: I am taking care of myself by practicing my calling on a daily basis.
By taking care of myself I mean respecting myself by being diligently dedicated to my calling, whether or not it affects anyone else. Even if the only way that my writing ever benefits me is that I improve myself through consistency and practice, I still feel fulfilled and happy. The more I respect myself and take care of myself, the less room there is for self-doubt to exist within me. Instead, beautiful things like self-confidence and happiness can grow. The more self-confident and happy you are, the easier it is to follow your calling, and the harder it is for anyone else’s doubts to affect you and pull you off the path of pursuing what you feel called to do.
Heed your calling. Pursue it relentlessly, and leave no room for doubt (from yourself or anyone else). For me, the calling is writing. I write every day, rain or shine, no matter how I’m feeling. Even if I only get two blog posts done and nothing else, I have still practiced my craft and pursued my calling.
Nobody can take the things that you do for yourself in pursuit of your calling away from you unless you let them. Don’t let them!