Self Doubt and Other Ailments

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Originally posted 9 February 2018

Dear lovelies,

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I feel like I need to start this blog post with a few disclaimers! What you are about to read is a very honest account of where I’m at, a confession of sorts. This is by no means an exercise in self deprecation, self indulgence or self pity. The aim of this post is to acknowledge my feelings and thoughts, to document my journey and to help me to keep moving onwards. I have not written this to court sympathy or reassurance, although words of wisdom and advice are welcome and if I meet any of you in person, I’ll take a big cuddle and give an equally warm one back! You may read this and empathise because you have similar feelings or you are in a similar place and if you are, I am sending you lots of love.

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Last month, I wrote this post, all about following my heart. Everything in that post still holds true. I know I am meant to be where I am right now and I can hear my heart telling me to believe in myself, to say goodbye to self doubt and to be patient and hard working. And I am trying very, very hard to listen and follow it’s message. But I think self doubt lives in my heart too and it isn’t packing it’s bags and moving out just yet. Our hearts are not perfect. They hold hurt, habits and patterns from the past and these are difficult to heal.

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So, although I am finding this creative journey of mine uplifting, joyful at points and exciting, I am also finding it really, really hard. There have been smiles of satisfaction and happiness, but tears of frustration and cries of despair. There are points almost on a daily basis that a little inner voice of doubt tells me to consider giving up and there are days when that voice is louder and I can’t stand it. I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed by anxiety, like I might drown in it. The ‘what if’ neon sign that occasionally flashes in a storm cloud above my head has been turned up to it’s brightest, boldest setting. If you follow me on instagram, you may be aware of the difficulty I have with uncertainty and doubt but my instagram feed is bright and my voice positive because I need it to be. I try and move that dark cloud aside everyday.

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I think I need to talk specifics to set the scene more clearly. I am a self taught creative. I have arrived here via a Psychology degree, a career in administration, a Homeopathy degree and giving birth to 3 fab kids. Creativity is definitely my future and I do not see it as a hobby. I can make stuff, I love writing and I even have strengths in some areas. But when self doubt makes it’s voice louder, these are the messages it is giving me. These are my ailments so to speak…

I have no training and I am not an expert at anything in particular. I do want to be able to produce beautiful things to a high standard and write paragraphs and books that I am proud of and that people want to buy and read. That is what my career looks like in my imagination and I suppose that is what success looks like to me, although I also believe that I am successful when I try.

When I experiment and try something out, if it hasn’t quite worked or it doesn’t quite look how I wanted it to look, I put it aside and feel deflated. It is not ‘good enough’. I sometimes do not pick up that piece of work again for fear of ‘failing’.

I have so many ideas, which I know is a good thing and I get very excited about them all. However, I can’t see the wood for the trees and I have no conviction that any particular idea is the ‘one’. I become indecisive as to what to pursue first and deflated once again. I really dislike being indecisive!

I have a very strong sense that I am running out of time. I am 44 years of age without an established career and that makes me feel desperate and impatient. I tell myself I should be there already. A big portion of my self worth or my lack of it is wrapped up in this one.

I need to earn a living. We need the money.

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That’s the ‘ailments’ list and with all these feelings and thoughts going on, I am incredibly proud of myself for sticking with this and putting myself out there. I can sometimes see sunshine on the horizon and I am doing lots of things to ensure that I don’t give up! I have acknowledged that I need help and that is a good start. So here’s what I am doing to get help or to help myself…

I am continuing to make and write, because if I stop, the little doubting voice will get louder and fill the gap! The more I make and write, the more adept and experienced I will become.

I am watching You tube videos to learn some of the skills and gain the knowledge I feel I need.

I am regularly listening to creative podcasts. My favourite at the moment is the Blogtacular podcast.

I have booked a business mentoring/hugging session with the inspirational Allison Sadler whom I have talked about before. I am hoping to gain some clarity, more conviction of the direction I am heading in, sage advice and support from this lovely lady.

I am going to try and move forwards with a craft book idea because I think that might be the answer to the ‘so many ideas’ problem. I am going to need help with this. Watch this space.

I am continuing to talk and cry when I need to, acknowledging these feelings and not shying away from them.

I am looking at my beautiful kids everyday and knowing that THEY have been what I have been doing for the last 14 years and I’m feeling proud of that!

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And do you know what my loves? I am going to treat all the making and writing like it is my job. I love this one! It signifies a slight attitude change. I am not going to convince myself to skip a blog post because it doesn’t really matter and when I am making something, I am going to work out how it could become a tutorial or a product of some sort. I think I may also need to be a little stricter with myself about my schedule. If I am working, I am working. None of this means I am going to create or live without my heart being very much involved. My heart still rules and so it will forever!

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So that’s where I am at! A difficult place but a positive one too. Hopeful despite self doubt and other ailments!

Where are you at right now? How do you deal with feelings of self doubt? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading lovelies. Did you notice the pics in this post were decidedly ‘unwintery’? Just a little nod that Spring and warmer climes are just around the corner! Yay! Take Care and see you back here very soon,

Yours lovingly and hopefully,

Lucy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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