Fear and Self-Doubt

It’s happened again… I’ve hit the wall.

That wall is self-doubt and few times a year I hit it straight on. I really think self-doubt can be a good thing. It reminds us to maintain a level head and can keep an ego from growing too large. But when self-doubt creates a gut-wrenching fear of putting yourself out there and taking a risk, it shows its dirty side.

Self-doubt is something I’ve really struggled with since coming to college, and I’m positive I can’t be the only one. I’m a planner and I like to map my future out as soon as I possibly can. In 9th grade, I was going to be a ballerina at PNB, so I mapped out my steps. When ballet frustrated me, I turned to fashion. Senior year, I mapped out my plan for the future, including what I would study, how I would spend my summers, and where I would move. But things change and plans crumble. Fashion no longer floats my boat, at least not like it used to, so I’m left confused about who I am and where I’m going. 

This confusion has led me to explore new areas of interest I never imagined, like marketing and photography. But unlike my earlier hobbies and interests, these two have paralyzed me with self-doubt. I’m afraid of making a mistake that will drastically affect my future or even upset a client. I like to pretend I’m good at hiding it, but I’m always filled with nerves before a shoot! And what may frustrate me the most about this doubt is that I haven’t found a solution for it… other than facing my fears head on, a thought that makes me want to curl up and cry most days.

So for right now, I may not have a plan for even a year from now, but I do have a plan for tomorrow; my new goal is to face my fears head-on and to try to find a way to live without self-doubt.

If anyone has any other stories or tips, please feel free to share them here!