Lack of Confidence
When I sat down to write an article about this topic, I came to one overarching fear: Fear of Failure. Yes, with capital letters. However, when I wrote the outline, the subject changed to something else, something even broader.
What holds me back most in life, is lack of confidence. Wikihow summarises it like this:
This could be fear of embarrassment, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of failure, or one of many other kinds.
It comes down to this: I don’t trust my own abilities. If only I trusted myself, I would believe that I could bounce back from anything that life throws at me. As I have done many times in my past. So how did it come to this?
Back in the Day
I wasn’t always like this, without a lack of confidence. My childhood was rough, but within the space I had, I was relatively happy. I got plenty of space to develop myself. I wrote short stories, I played with my toys, I invented entire plays. There was enough confidence within me to express myself in that way.
As a teenager, I was depressed and emotional, but again, during my good days, I was quite confident. I was always the smart one and reveled in that persona. I did whatever extra-curricular activities were available, and I also went on many holidays with my friends whenever I got invited. When not too depressed, I was confident enough.
Down the Drain
The change came when I went to university. I moved into a room of my own. And again, I became depressed combined with thorough loneliness this time. The partner I had at the time was abusive, as in not calling me for weeks at an end. At university, I wasn’t the smart one anymore. I struggled with studying. To this day, I have never learned how to study a large body of text properly. Over time I lost all the confidence I had once had.
My work in retail didn’t make it any better. I felt very insecure there, mainly by how managers and coworkers treated me. Once again, I was the smart one, but instead of it being seen as a plus, I was often seen as a threat. I liked solving problems, but I often struggled with the more mundane tasks.
A Fresh Start
After years of consideration, I quit my job and started my career as a writer. Being a writer, while low on confidence is not the best combination. It’s actually an awful mix. A large part of the job means getting your work out there and exposing yourself to criticism. Instead of exposing myself, I just don’t finish any stories that I have written. Only to find it again a couple of months after I had written it, and then thinking: Hmm, maybe it’s not so bad. But even then not finishing it.
Nowadays, I’m slowly getting there. The company I write reviews for regarding their sex toys, appreciate my work a lot. Writing this blog gives my week a better structure, so that helps too. And even receiving feedback is incredible.
Which Perfect is Perfect for Me?
In a perfect world, where I could have infinite self-confidence, it would be so much easier. I would write, finish the stories, and share them with the world. But then again, that wouldn’t be me. I need some sliver of fear to make my work better, to make my fiction stronger.
I’m still searching for the golden balance. Until then, I’ll have to face my fears. I will write my stories, finish them, and hit that button. Publish.
This blog post was written inspired by this week’s ‘Food For Thought Friday’ theme.