Doubts. We all have them – negative thoughts that collide with our self confidence and rock our intrepid spirits. I suspect that even the strongest, most courageous people are plagued with doubts on occasion.
As a child, I was very timid and completely paralyzed with self doubt at times. I overcame the paralysis as a young adult, and I learned to trust my value and purposes. Doubts still crept in, but I translated them into motivators for increasing my value, instead of allowing them to diminish me.
Now in the latter years of my forties, and in the midst of career change, I find myself succumbing to self doubt in ways similar to the ways of my youth.
AAUGH!!! Why have I returned to my old habit of thinking I am the proverbial Charlie Brown blockhead???
Change itself brings insecurities. Changing my career path has put me in completely different arenas of professional engagement than those from my previous endeavors, and the new arenas are unfamiliar to me.
Once a service provider for the less fortunate in the world (mental health counselor), I now am making a living creating a product that is considered a luxury (fine art). My consumers are a different demographic and my colleagues are of a completely different mindset. Not only do I have to adapt to new methods of earning a living (business skills are not in my DNA), I also have to overcome biases and prejudices that I have developed over the years working in the non-profit service sector.
Couple that with my natural artistic brooding and critical eye to the ways of business (artists are programmed to resent the business world for some reason), and I become my own Lucy pulling the football away as I, like Charlie Brown, am about to boot it down the field.
Good Grief, Charlie Brown!
Luckily, I have friends, colleagues and mentors bearing with me and helping me navigate this new world that I have thrust myself into. With their help, I am moving forward instead of letting my doubts paralyze me. And I am finding resources to help me develop new capacities.
I am attending a business institute for artists, which is helping me learn new skills as well as confront the self defeating behaviors interfering with my success. I am meeting with a business mentor who is patiently helping me learn the ways of the business world. I am following up on leads to increase my network of business connections. And I am exploring different ways to make my artwork more accessible, yet still profitable enough to give me a sustainable income.
I love Charlie Brown, but I don’t want to be him. So I am taking a glance back at my old journals where I wrote about overcoming self doubt in the past. What did I do then that I am not doing now? Looking back can sometimes help you move forward.
Despite the doubts, there are exciting things about the new directions I am pursuing. I am on a new journey and a grand adventure. I wonder where it will lead me next?
Do you have doubts about your current place in life? What are you doing to allow them to be motivators for increasing your value instead of allowing them to diminish you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments.