Here’s What Self-Doubt Looks Like

A cake.

Your self-doubt will look different, but the cake is a symbol of your self-doubt.

Now the person who made this cake thinks she is a novice, and not that good at making cakes. I can show you plenty more photos of beautiful cakes like this that she has made (probably no different to whatever this cake represents for you, you have no doubt made or done plenty of something that is equally as good, but you are unable to see how clever you are).

She, we’ll call her Betty, doesn’t see the magic in her cake, or how creative she is. I dare say Betty hears the voices coming from many times in her life being told she isn’t good enough. Who is she to think she can just put herself out there, trying to fool people into believing that she can actually design these amazing cakes, Betty hasn’t done any formal training so why should anyone listen to her.

A side note, my brain jumps to seeing Betty either selling these cakes, but that is super time intensive, and while it would bring money in, it would also potentially take the joy out of creating these masterpieces, instead it would be better to offer an online training program, teaching people the steps required in baking a cake like this, and building a community of creative cake lovers, that all love her cake designs. She could offer a group program, maybe a face to face one day course, teaching others her skills, sharing her knowledge, write a book etc etc, allowing so many others to experience the joy it brings to their children.

Now Betty may simply enjoy doing it for herself and her family, which is all good, and to do anything more than that might take the life and love out of the creations she makes for her loved ones. I don’t know all of Betty’s story, so this may or may not be true, but when I see talent like this not being shared with the world, I feel like I have to ask the question.

Another example, a guy I met on the weekend, we’ll call him Albert. Albert takes amazing photos. He has sold his prints at local markets, and has been a photographer at thirty-five weddings, yet he isn’t a professional photographer, and only did it for fun, except that he now hasn’t taken any photos for a long time. He is in a job he doesn’t like, and doesn’t think his photos are good enough to make a living out of it.

Albert said the words I have heard so many times, “I don’t want to turn something I love doing into my job and then hate it”. Hmmm, hang on, so you don’t love your job, you love photography, are clearly good at it, but you haven’t done it for a long time because you are so busy in your job, that you hate.

Am I missing something here?

As I said, I don’t know the full story for Betty or Albert, and I don’t know your story, and I agree 100% that you don’t need to turn what you love into a business, but if you don’t enjoy your job, the thing you are doing for the majority of your day, then isn’t it worth taking a risk on doing something you love?

SO many people aren’t prepared to take a risk on life, and take a risk on something working (and loving it), that they will sit in a life they don’t want to be living, rather than risk putting themselves out there, because they might fail. People might laugh at them, tell them their cake designs are boring, terrible, copied, or that they have seen better photos, for less money. I am making what they might be feeling up, but I will take a guess that there will be truth hidden in parts of this.

Now imagine this, just for a moment, that instead of people laughing at you, or judging you, that those same people (in your head) applauded you, recommended you, referred business to you, maybe you even receive an award for the quality of your work. Maybe that without any of the accolades, or awards, that you simply loved doing what you did every day you woke up? How would that change your outlook on life, and change the relationship you have with yourself, your family and loved ones?

And what if you made more than enough money to cover the job you think you need to be doing. While this doesn’t need to be about money, more often than not it is about money, and providing security for your family that stops you from taking the risks in establishing something that may not work, as compared to staying in something that provides the security, without the joy.

When self-doubt settles deep into your life, it is so hard to see your actual abilities. You see what you can’t do, and you see what you think your brain wants you to see, when in fact your brain has gone into survival mode, and does what it needs to do in order to get by. It sees the bills you have to pay, the to-do list to keep your family functioning, and it stops you thinking about what you might be able to do with your life.

From personal experience, I established The School of Purpose as I originally doubted myself in being able to help others overcome self-doubt and live their life on purpose. I wanted to be helping people through my writing, and coaching, yet doubted that I had enough experience to be able to help others live their life on purpose.  When I actually stopped and looked at life, I realized that I had more than enough experience to be able to write and coach others in overcoming self-doubt, and in living their life on purpose, I simply needed to take the first step.

For me, on top of doubting myself, I struggled with the fact that I am telling people to stop doing a job they don’t love, and follow their passion, when I am in a job that doesn’t inspire me.  We all have our story, but I have had a previous business almost bankrupt me, twice, so I am using that experience to keep me in a secure job, while I build my new business. You need to be comfortable with whatever decision you are making, but it doesn’t need to stop you from doing what you love.

I now know that I need to find the time to write a blog post or an article, do a ‘Daily Purpose’ video on Instagram, or write a post on social media. If I don’t, then this job that doesn’t inspire me, is it for me, and I definitely want more for myself, my life, and for my family. I want to be able to show our kids that through my actions, rather than my words, that I do believe in myself. I want to be able to teach them that whatever stage they are at in life, you must continue to believe in yourself, and go for what you want, no matter what. 

In learning to overcome self-doubt, you start seeing possibility where there was none before. Much like a flower blossoming in the spring time, you start to see the beauty inside of you come to life, and I know there is a lot of beauty on the inside, waiting to come to life.

More self-doubt

Those voices questioning your every move, will start to decrease when you learn to overcome self-doubt. The voices telling you that you are an imposter, aren’t good enough, or that you aren’t worthy enough, will get a little quieter. Unfortunately they don’t go away, rather, you get better at identifying them, and start doing whatever it is you were thinking of doing anyway.

To all the cake designers, photographers, and anyone reading this with talents you are hiding from the world, we all get one life, and it goes by so quickly, wouldn’t you rather have tried something you love, and take the risk of it succeeding, than not trying at all?  I encourage you to go for it, you will thank yourself for it.

Published by Simon | The School of Purpose

An optimistic introvert, helping introverts overcome self doubt, build confidence, and start living life on purpose.

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