I recently watched a video made by one of my friends about her doubts and fears. It's one of those things that comes at a perfect time in my life: I'm doubtful, I'm scared, I'm unsure, too much is happening, not enough is happening, I'm overwhelmed... but then I see I'm not alone. Not completely, anyway.
Here's the video, if you're interested:
Everyone has their own doubts and fears. Everyone deals with them differently. I see Josie's mindset and I think about how positively she views everything, even those things that scare her. I see how she flips her doubts and fears into something akin to a goal or a success. It's absolutely inspiring. I wanted to be that person.
Unfortunately, unlike her, I won't see every bad thing and turn it into something positive. To me, sometimes, bad things are just that: bad. Scary things are scary. Nothing is flipped or molded into something else. They are what they are. I think it's OK to feel negative emotions sometimes, as long as you don't let them consume you.
But that said...not everything is bad. Good things are sometimes disguised as bad things, and I have to work to see it for what it is. I can't always create my own truth, but I can FIND the truth. I think that's something I can do.
So let's see what I can find out about my own doubts and fears. And then you try it yourself.
1. I'm not that talented or skilled.
There are times when I record a song or write a story or film a video, and I feel so proud. I feel like I created something wonderful. But then, I hear someone else's song. Someone's voice. Read another story. Watch another video. And I suddenly feel small. Was my pride too conceited? Are my creations really as good as I thought they were?
So I don't post the song or the story or the video. They're not good enough. I'm not good enough.
Sometimes, this feeling turns to jealousy. "That person is so privileged, they have plenty of time to make videos, that's why they can spend so much time on it, I'm so unlucky."
Sometimes, it turns to self-hatred. "Well if I had only worked a bit harder when I was teenager, I could know how to record this song properly. I had all the resources but didn't do it. I'm so dumb and lazy."
Sometimes, it turns to resignation. "I'll never be as good as they are. Maybe I should just give up."
In the end, no one is at fault, and my jealousy and anger are misguided. My perfectionism is a monster inside of me, telling me everything I did wrong and every possible reason why. It's why I can't listen to my songs or watch my videos in front of other people. I don't want to be reminded of the things I did wrong.
But then... why do I listen to my songs and watch my videos when I'm alone? Why do I enjoy them?
Oh that's right. Despite what the monster believes, I still believe I created something worthwhile.
So maybe I should trust myself to that feeling a bit more.
2. No one actually likes me.
It's probably my biggest fear. As someone aiming for the entertainment industry, networking, charisma, and social skills are all important to the game.
In my head, I say witty things. I have lots of friends who want to be with me. I'm a powerful presence. I'm respected, and I don't take shit from people. I'm compassionate and empathetic to everyone.
That's not me.
I made a whole post about this feeling: "I'm the girl that no one looks at." Sure, I'm not hated or scorned. But I don't stand out. I'm not the person people want to be around. I'm not the one everyone knows will be a star. Even if I do dress up in a crazy costume or do something insane, I don't have that thing that people in the industry have. I don't have charisma.
So how am I supposed to make it in this industry when I can't even command an audience out of one person?
I try to overcompensate by being the planner of my group, the person that runs things in a way, so I'm forced to be in the center of SOMETHING. I wear my Jack Sparrow costume because it's one way for me to stand out. But in the end...whether it's on camera or on stage or even walking around, I just don't have the It factor.
But sometimes I forget, in my attempts to make people like me, that I don't have to be liked. I don't even have to be likable. If I want to do what I want to do, I just have to do the things I feel like I should do, regardless of what the outcome might be.
Walk up to that famous person and strike up a conversation, even if they think you're a weirdo and walk away. Talk to that cute guy you've been crushing on, even if he doesn't like you. Say that thing you wanted to say, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Apply for that job, then call the company, tag them in tweets, make a video about them, because you really want the job and you'll do anything to get it, even if it makes them think you're a little annoying. Dye your hair, even if your parents don't like it. Travel somewhere crazy, even if people tell you the points or the money are better spent elsewhere.
Nearly a decade ago, I went to a leadership conference for middle schoolers. Everyone wrote nice notes about each other. My roommate (whom I recognized from her handwriting) wrote this: "You're a fun, nice person to be around, just a little held back. I hope you stop holding yourself back."
Stop holding back.
Perhaps the reason I'm not standing out isn't because I'm not great. It's because I'm holding back everything that MAKES me great.
Stop. Holding. Back.
3. I'm not passionate enough.
If I really wanted to do this, to be a filmmaker, wouldn't I be spending my every waking moment doing it? If so, why am I procrastinating on the thing I want to do most? Maybe it's not what I want after all. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I have to keep searching for my passion.
The monster in my head, perfectionism, likes to make me believe all sorts of things. I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not passionate enough...
Enough. Enough... something about that word...
It's almost like the hidden subtext is, "You're passionate, but not passionate enough."
"But you can always do more."
We can always improve. We can always do better things. We can always do more. Create more. Film more. Laugh more. Smile more. Cry more. Feel more.
But that doesn't mean we're not doing well as it is. Appreciate who we are and what we've done thus far, but always strive for more.
Well, when you put it that way, it's not so bad, is it?
4. I'll settle for less.
There are people who sleep in cars until they finally break into the industry. There are people who refuse to settle for anything less than the one goal they have their sight set on. These people are determined and strong. They're going to make it, because they said so.
My mindset is a bit different. Sure, I'll take that assistant position and be perfectly content, as long as I can still make videos and hang out with friends and go do some cool things on my days off. Should I be content? Or should I be restless?
What if I settle for something that isn't my goal simply because it's easy and convenient?
But...what is my goal, exactly?
Josie's video actually inspired my answer to this one. Your goal doesn't have to be specific. Your goal can be vague and broad. Forget what people say about creating goals that are "specific, measurable, believable" blah blah blah. Worry about that for the short-term action goals leading up to your main goal. This is your life. Create a goal, or many goals, that make you think, "yeah, that's the life I want."
My goal? I simply want to be happy, comfortable, and free. What does that mean for me? I want to be in a place where I can create videos and stories freely, hang out with friends as I please, travel every so often to fantastic destinations, help people with their dreams, and feel at home wherever I'm living. That could mean many different things. Different jobs, different living situations, different environments.
These are my happiness goals.
I suppose, in the end, I'm more afraid others will view me as settling for less if I don't "go for the gold" so to speak. But I'm not that competitive. And I don't need to be. I don't need to be a big-name producer or director. I just need to make decisions that further my happiness goals.
And I think I'm doing that without really realizing it. So I guess I'm on the right track after all.
What are your doubts and fears? How do you fight them? Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email!