I often pause before taking action to ask myself if I’m ready or not. It doesn’t matter whether I’m writing something, posting a picture online or talking about a topic in public; the doubt is almost always there. Indeed most of my time is exhausted giving myself a pep talk and frankly, it’s bothersome.
When did I lose faith in myself? I can’t come up with a definite answer for that because I believe it was more of a gradual process than a specific point of time. Maybe it was a streak of failures that ruined my self-confidence or maybe that’s what you become after criticizing yourself too hard for an extended period. I can’t be sure how this happened, but I’m sure that that can’t stop me from fixing it.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that everyone feels out of place but not everyone openly admits it. I bet if I could eavesdrop on seemingly confident people’s inner dialogue, there’d be a healthy dose of doubt lurking around. After all, I wasn’t the person to come up with the phrase “fake it till you make it” and I’m not the only one to put it into practice at times (even if I am the only one to have literally dreamt about it.)
My friends joke that not a sentence is composed where I don’t use an adverb. That’s my unconcious method of making sure I’ve allowed enough space for uncertainty. If ever the day should come where someone wanted to argue over something I’ve expressed, I can always get myself off the hook by saying “I used maybe/perhaps/approximately/most of the time/etc.” This personal disclaimer notice does make me sound doubtful but it also shows that I’m a man of healthy skepticism and far from dogmatic approaches, hopefully.
The truth is that doubt, much like its counterpart, faith, is a limitless world. Once you set off down a path to cast doubt on something, you’ll have your hands full of agreeing and disagreeing statements. Even if you do manage to sift through them all, more material will be stacked on top of the pile for your consideration. Faith is not acquired through the scientific method of experimentation and incremental knowledge acquisition. Faith is a choice you make, regardless of the information you have, and one that you run with despite the harshest criticisms. Doubt allows you to revise your beliefs and optimize your methods but it’s corrosive and if it spreads, all pillars of faith begin to wear away.
Therefore, the answer to the original question of “when will I be ready?” is quite simple: whenever I say so. I could postpone doing something of value to me indefinitely, using excuses such as perfectionism or right timing. But there’s only one moment when I will make the leap of faith and that’s when I step forth to show I believe in myself and my work enough to put it out there. That moment is now.
Please tell me that I’m not the only one struggling with issues of self-doubt and believing in myself! Are you ready to show your strength by talking of your vulnerability? Then share.