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