I’m going to attempt NaNoWriMo again this year. And as much as I want to succeed, there’s a niggling doubt in the back of my mind telling me I won’t.
With each passing year I push myself to be better, to do more, but how can I when I don’t think I’m good enough to pursue anything?
I quit my job to have a real go at freelance writing and see if I could make my dream a reality. But I feel like I’ve been on autopilot for the last few months, with no direction, and no plan. And for me, having no end goal is absolutely terrifying. I’m scared of trying, scared of failing, and scared of the truth – that I’m not good enough.
Am I a fraud?
I’ve always wanted to write a book – several books – but I get somewhere around 10,000 words and abandon the whole project when the story starts meandering. I wanted to help people with this blog, but I shy from social media and I loathe marketing.
I’m not a real writer unless I make decent money from it. I won’t be anything more than an aspiring writer until I have a book deal, but I can’t seem to finish a first draft. Because of the doubts. Because of my deep-rooted inherent belief that I can’t do anything. I’m just pretending and it’s not fooling anyone.
I don’t write everyday, I don’t read often enough, I don’t market myself as much as I should. I’m pretending to be something I’m not and never will be.
What if this whole life I’ve been working towards doesn’t suit me? What if I don’t want it at all? I’m scared of starting again. I don’t know how to start again.
I’m not good enough
The biggest obstacle to our success is our imposter syndrome telling us we’re not good enough. Even the most accomplished people suffer from imposter syndrome. Our idols were beginners once – and they probably sucked at it too. There’s no getting around it, in any industry there’s always going to be someone that’s better than you.
Everyone reaches a certain point where they question their ability and wonder if it was all a lie. But success doesn’t happen by accident, you worked hard to get where you are. A lot of our doubts and insecurities aren’t based on anything real, it’s just an overall sense of ‘I don’t deserve this’.
So how do we overcome it?
Talk about it. It’s scary opening up about how we feel in case our doubts are confirmed, but it’s highly unlikely. You’ll probably find that whoever you speak to has battled similar doubts about themselves at some point. It’s more common than you think.
Be positive. It’s too easy to criticise ourselves, and it’s not healthy. We brush off compliments, water down our achievements, and beat ourselves up over every minor mistake. The next time someone sings your praises, listen to them. Don’t shy away from it; appreciate what they have to say. Write it down in a journal or on your phone so you can give your ego a little boost next time you feel imposter syndrome creeping in.
Maybe you are good enough. Would that be such a crazy idea?