There are times I’m working on a piece of writing and I keep thinking, “Ugh, this is not very good.”
I keep working on it, but can’t seem to ignore the self doubts that come into my brain. “This is bad. It’s not coming together. People will think this is poorly written and that I’m a bad writer.”
Turns out I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
A friend recently confided that she was down about a project she was working on. She had been at it for a while and felt like it was turning into a failure. I was sorry to hear this, because I know how smart and talented she is. I didn’t want her to feel bad about herself.
I found myself giving her the same pep-talk I give myself when I’m riddled with self doubt.
So, here are my tactics to respond to negative self talk, specifically in regards to work:
When you experiencing self doubt, ask yourself these questions:
- How many times have you actually failed before? Not many, right? What makes you think this will be a failure? You’ve succeeded a lot in the past, too. Trust in your past successes.
- What is the quality of your work usually like? Do you usually put our poor quality work? No, it’s usually quite good, isn’t it? How do other people usually respond to your work? With such a positive track record, what makes you think this will be poor? Trust in the fact that you normally put out quality work.
- And even if this project is a “failure”, what’s the worst case scenario? It’s probably not that bad, is it? We learn from failing.
- Lastly, if you were talking to a friend in your situation, what would you say? Would you say, “Yes, this is terrible and a big failure”. No way! You’d say something encouraging. Try to talk to yourself like you’d talk to someone else. Be gentle with yourself.
image credit: jay mantri
An excellent self-care lesson; I appreciate the simplicity. Thanks for each post you publish, Kelly!
Thank you Deborah!! 🙂
These are all very true, and this is a situation where I would turn to the Work of Byron Katie. “This writing sucks — is that statement true?”. I find the world opens up when we approach our reality from a position of curiosity, instead of one of self judgement. Maybe the piece I’m writing does suck. Maybe it doesn’t. When I’m curious that’s neither good nor bad — it’s just interesting to notice.
Wow, it took me couple years to excepted being an HSP. To bad there no Force ability included. TIM
Firest of all I would like to say superb blog!
I had a quick questin that I’d like to ask if youu ddo not mind.
I was interested to find outt how you center yourself and clear your hesad before writing.
I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts inn getting my thhoughts out there.
I truly do take pleasure iin writing however it juust seems like the
first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how tto begin. Any
ideas orr tips? Kudos!
Hi Danielle, thanks for the comment and question! I think it’s totally ok to “waste” 10-15 minutes when you get started!! Getting into a “flow state” takes some time for me. Don’t beat yourself up about it–I think that’s pretty normal to take some time! You could also try meditating for a few minutes before writing. Or maybe make a list of all the things you want to accomplish that day–get that out of your brain so you aren’t thinking about it when you are trying to write. I find it hard to be creative when other things are weighing on my mind.
We HSPs are so good at loving other people.. . We should be able to apply this to ourselves.