As some of you know, I am pursuing my dream of being a writer. Before I lost the huge amount of excess weight I carried, I didn't have enough confidence in myself to even attempt to do anything with my writing. I never shared it with anyone.
Now that I have managed to achieve what some people saw as impossible (losing over 145 lbs), I realize that if there is any goal that I set my mind on, as long as I am willing to work for it, I can achieve it.
But knowing this intellectually doesn't mean that it is always a constant knowledge within me emotionally. Self-Doubt, nasty as she can be, still creeps up on me.
I recently started sharing some of my writing. I have entered some of it into competitions and even shared some of it on my writing blog. My first writing submission resulted in a rejection. And it stung. Even though I know that some of the writing I was up against was excellent and even though I know it's never personal, it still stung. Self-Doubt reared her head again. With some effort, I managed to slam her back down with a well-aimed kick by submitting more of my writing to other places.
(I don't normally advocate violence, but I have to admit that kicking out at Self-Doubt feels really good!)
Even more recently, I shared some of my writing on my writing blog as a way of entering some stories into small, friendly competitions. I don't think I will feel bad if I don't win. But knowing that others are out there reading my writing, possibly even judging my writing, makes me nervous. Self-Doubt keeps rearing her head up again, and my kicks seem to be getting weaker.
I got a few nice comments, and even though I got a lovely warm feeling when I first read them, Self-Doubt had me rethinking it and wondering if they were just being nice. Then I wonder, what is wrong with me that I can't just take a compliment at face value?
I bet you are wondering what all of this has to do with your efforts to lose weight (or achieve other goals for yourself). I'm getting there; just keep reading.
The thing is, I am learning from these constant attacks from Self-Doubt and from each time I kick her back down again. I'm learning what it takes to defeat her. And in whatever you are trying to achieve, whether it's a writing goal, a goal to lose weight or even something completely different like being your town's best archer, Self-Doubt will try to get in your way of achieving your goal. You will, at times, think, I can't do this, I'm not strong enough, or I'm not good enough. (Nasty sentences, aren't they?)
But the truth is that you can do it. You are strong enough and you are good enough. You just have to believe it.
The way that I am finding works the best at fighting Self-Doubt is simple: just ignore her. Keep striving to achieve your goals. Don't give up. Every time you take another step toward your goal, despite Self-Doubt staring you in the face, you are kicking Self-Doubt to the curb. And every time you stand up to Self-Doubt in that way, she grows weaker and you grow stronger.
So don't give up. Keep reaching for your dreams. You'll get there.