Are you ready to pursue your dreams?
You may have always dreamed of becoming a writer, or an actor/actress, or a singer, or musician, or any other kind of artist.
But life happened.
You may have married and had kids.
You have always had to work a regular job to make ends meet.
You needed to go to school to get a degree.
Your mind set was never in the right place.
Or, any other number of things might have demanded your time and attention.
And you never had time to pursue your dream.
But now you are ready.
You would like to finally start doing what you have always dreamed of. Whether it’s being a writer, actor, singer, musician, painter, artist, etc., etc. etc. … Whatever it is; you are ready to do what you have always wanted to do.
It’s your turn now. It’s your turn to do what you have always wanted to do. You are ready.
Self-doubt rears it’s ugly head.
Suddenly you are overwhelmed with fears and insecurities that prevent you from even starting in the first place.
Self-doubts rise to the surface. What if…..? What if…..? What if…..?
Here are 5 of the most common fears and insecurities that rise to the surface when self-doubt rears its ugly head and prevents you from pursuing your dreams.
Self-doubt #1: It’s too late.
This is usually one of the first self-doubts that pop up when you consider pursuing your dream of becoming a writer or any other kind of artist.
It usually looks something like this:
“It’s too late to start now.”
“I’m too old to start now.”
“You have to start when your young.”
“I’ll look like a fool starting at this age.”
“Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to ________ ?”
Yes. The same age you will be anyway.
You are never too old to be an artist. Especially a writer. In fact you are likely to be a better writer because you have a lot more life experience than your younger counterparts.
That does not mean a younger person cannot be a good writer. There are many talented young writers out there. It’s just that you will have your life experience to add to the mix.
And nothing speaks like experience.
Self-doubt #2: You doubt you can take yourself seriously as an artist.
You feel like a fraud compared to all the other “real” artists out there.
You wonder how you can seriously call yourself a writer or artist without feeling like a fraud.
You may even feel like you have nerve for calling yourself an artist when there are so many other “real” artists out there.
These other people are “real” artists; whereas your just pretending or hoping to be one.
This is called the Imposter Syndrome; and it’s actually quite common.
There are many successful people out there that feel like frauds.
They are afraid they will be found out for the frauds they really are.
So if you suffer from imposter syndrome; the solution is to realize that other people suffer from it as well.
Even very successful people.
Self-doubt #3: You’re afraid you will never be as good as the other writers and artists out there.
You feel intimidated by all the talented artists and writers out there.
You are sure your work can never measure up, or be as good.
Feeling intimidated usually stems from comparing your work to that of accomplished artists.
Here are some examples:
*You compare your rough draft to a completed and published novel.
*You compare your rough sketches to a Picasso painting.
*Your a beginning actor comparing your acting skills to that of Al Pacino or some other famous actor.
Well anyway; you get the picture.
You are basically comparing your beginning work to that of accomplished artists.
The solution here is to allow yourself to be a beginner.
You have to start somewhere.
And yes, you will probably make plenty of mistakes. This is good; as making mistakes is the only way you will learn to do it better.
Start with baby steps.
If you keep practicing your craft whatever it is; you will eventually become very good at it.
But for now, just take baby steps and allow yourself to be a beginner.
Self-doubt #4: You doubt you will ever have enough money to pursue your dream.
You don’t need any money to begin.
All you need is your passion and a willingness to start where you are.
You will most likely need to spend some money somewhere along the way. But you do not need any money to start pursuing your passion.
If you are a writer; simply begin writing. It only requires a notebook and a pen.
The same goes for other types of artists.
If your an actor/actress, you can get together with some friends to read through scenes or scripts.
If your a musician, you can jam with your buddies just for fun.
If you really can’t find anyone to do these things with; you can join a Meet Up group. It’s free to join.
Meet Up is basically groups of people who meet up once a week to do some activity they enjoy. There is a group for just about everything. You can join writer groups, play reading groups, painting groups, etc. You simply search for groups in your area and join the group.
Self-doubt #5: You fear being ridiculed.
If you were shamed and ridiculed often as a child; it is very likely that you will be afraid to show your work to anyone for fear of further shame and ridicule.
No matter how talented you are; you will probably be afraid to show your work to the world.
It may look something like this:
*You have written many manuscripts over the years, but they are locked away in your drawer; never to see the light of day.
*You have many paintings and drawings hidden in the back of your closet in order to make sure nobody sees them.
*That guitar you bought several years ago is gathering dust in the back of your closet. You don’t know why you bought it in the first place. Your not sure you can play it anyway.
*You have hundreds of actor/actress pictures & resumes; and you never send them out or submit them.
All those pages you have written or paintings you have created that are hiding in your drawer or in the back of your closet are not doing you any good sitting in there.
The Bible speaks of letting your light shine.
The light we are talking about here is your talent.
The verse is from Matthew 5:15. It may vary a bit depending on which version of the Bible you use. But this is it:
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on it’s stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
In other words; by not showing your work you are robbing the world of your talent.
Your talent is a gift from God. Using that talent is your gift back to God.
There are some ways you can overcome this toxic shame from childhood.
One way is to do the work on yourself.
This means you can work with a qualified psychotherapist to bring unconscious material into conscious awareness.
It also means working with as much self-help material as possible. Buy self-help books and really work with the material in the books instead of just reading them.
You can also attend self-help groups such as 12-step programs.
Anything you can find that will help you along the road to recovery.
Another way to overcome toxic shame is through forgiveness and compassion for those who may have harmed you in the past.
Forgiveness is not an easy decision. But one that will bring much healing to your own life.
You may not be ready to forgive just yet. And that is okay. Forgiveness comes in its own time.
You may not be able to forgive until you have worked through all of your feelings of hurt and pain from the past.
Everybody’s path is a little different.
Just trust that the path you are on is the right one for you.
What has been your experience with self-doubt? And how did you get around it? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading this post.