I have never been the most confident person, even as a child I was quiet and shy. I’m not going to try to analyse where these traits came from as the origin is irrelevant, but somewhere along the way I picked up a huge amount of self-doubt and fear.
Fear of failing,
fear of being wrong,
fear of looking stupid,
fear of being laughed at,
fear of not being good enough.
These negative self-views led to negative behaviours; if I don’t try I can’t fail, if I don’t say anything then I can’t be wrong, if I don’t argue my opinion then I can’t be made to look stupid, if I keep myself on the side-lines then no-one will laugh at me.
It’s sad that these views have stayed with me for so long when my rational mind can easily counter them with examples of where I’ve succeeded.
At school I hated creative writing as there was no clear answer as to whether what I was writing was good enough, I feared that the teacher would read it and laugh at my ridiculous attempt. I hated having to read out loud in class in case I said a word wrong. I hated languages as I thought my pronunciation was rubbish. I liked lessons based on fact, if there was a correct answer and I knew what that answer was then I was happy.
Much of this self-doubt and fear has stayed with me through life; as I went to university, got a job, became a parent etc., and I’m sure these feelings contributed to me having depression.
It’s easy to look back and criticise yourself for not taking opportunities and for mistakes you made, but these decisions would have been made by the person you were then in the context of your life at that time. No matter how much you regret the past it cannot be changed.
The only thing you can change is who you are right now.
I’m certain that therapy has enabled me to overwrite self-doubt with confidence which has given me the ability to change my life.
From the quiet girl who hated creative writing, I have become a writer, poet, author, and self-publicist.
And that’s quite a transformation!