Self-doubt – “lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities”
Oh, to not be plagued by this critter… I know this isn’t totally uncommon but it sure is a pain in the arse to live with. Self-doubt is insidious. It creeps up on you a little at a time until it’s taken over who you were meant to be. We don’t start out life having this issue, but it sure as hell finds its way into our being and then sets up shop like an unwanted termite, slowly eating away at our foundation. I’m trying to figure out how to live with this animal. I realize that at this point in my life it will always be a part of who I am. I can look back over a lifetime and understand why it’s such a big part of me now, but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with. The only thing I can do is refuse to let it devour me whole. I tell myself that I can’t let it dictate what I do and how I live my life – that I have to keep reaching and stretching in order to achieve goals that I think will make me happy and also improve my self-perception. But I think sometimes I try to stretch myself too much, and then when I fail I feel those termites shaking away at a foundation I’ve been trying to build back up and the self-doubt makes an overwhelmingly grand appearance again.
What’s the answer? I don’t know. There’s a famous quote from the Clint Eastwood movie “Magnum Force” that is going through my mind right now – “A man’s got to know his limitations”. Maybe that’s part of the key. You don’t set yourself up for failing situations to begin with. You realize what you are and are not capable of. You get your head out of your “arse” and quit living in a dream world where anything is possible if you set your sights on it. Because that’s not real life. Whether they are self-imposed as a result of life experiences or whether they exist because of outside influences, we all have our limitations. The key is realizing what they are. Plain and simple. Life’s a journey. We just do our best.