Everybody experiences self doubt about one thing or another at some point in their lives. For creative people, self doubt is always lurking around somewhere, waiting to pounce at a moment’s weakness.
As artists, we ask ourselves, is our work good enough, will people like it, do our work represent our best selves, is our work improving? These are not necessarily bad questions. We need to take stock ever so often. However, if we allow these questions to seep into our souls and undermine our progress or actions, and cripple us, then self doubt is taking over.
What I along with other artists need to remember is that art is subjective. As good as the work may be, not everyone is going to like or appreciate it. Also, we are all worthy, so we just need to step into who we are and stop doubting ourselves. No one is worthier than you.
Do not change what you do because a certain kind of art is selling. Your art is worthy and needs to be seen. Be true to you. Know that self doubt is natural especially in a creative environment where there will be varying views on what you do.
We should not allow doubt to conquer us. We should be the conquerors of doubt. How do we do this? We replace all negative thoughts with positive ones. We call upon past successes to remind ourselves that we are stars or at the very least, we have accomplished some good things. We should remember that our talents are divine gifts. It’s our right and responsibility to bring what we have to the world. In an uncertain world, the one person you want to be sure of is yourself.
Journaling is not just about writing down the accounts of our daily lives; it can be interesting conversations with ourselves. And of course it is crucial what kinds of discourse we have with ourselves and hence, our journals. When we write in our journals we usually look inwards and so we make a deeper connection with ourselves. We have all faced self doubt sometimes but writing about it can really bring clarity and insight to the matter. More importantly, writing about it can build confidence in our own abilities and judgment.
Here is where we can take stock of what makes us special. We have had doubts but we have also had past accomplishments where we were determined and where we dealt with pressures and challenges. What we write in our journals should reflect more of our inner confidence to succeed and to overcome the obstacles to achieve our best. The conversation with our journals is similar to a friend telling us that we can succeed. But this is much more powerful because it’s coming from the inside. Nobody can build us up like we can.
Sometimes it doesn’t even mean that our doubts are totally gone but it means that the process of writing has helped us to keep a level head. In this way we have manipulated our anxieties to the point where we appear confident and courageous to others who might even comment on this. We also start to believe in our new directions when we exert this optimistic influence over ourselves.
Self worth is thought out and it is acted out and all of this can begin with what we write in our journals. We should all start a conversation with ourselves today that will give us the mental acceptance and conviction in the validity of who we are and what we can do.
Remember there is nothing like words in black and white to help you see where you are and where you are going.
Sheryl A. Keen
Author “Journal According to John.”