Mon, 22 Jul, 2019

Believe me, when I write that this article started out to be a different thing altogether. I was bent on writing about the changes people face in life and dealing with those changes. I started out well and was definitely on the right track. Well, I cannot say that with utmost sincerity but I think I am sufficiently sincere. I wrote a few lines. I added a few more to it. And I had a rough list of things I wanted to include in it. Then suddenly on an impulse, I deleted all of it. I didn’t Ctrl-A + Del. I pressed backspace till my whole document was without the black squiggles that we recognize as words that make up the English language. The reason I stopped was simple. I didn’t think it was enough. And I am writing about this now because I refuse to believe that it only happens to a singular person.

Google will give you the simplest definition of self-doubt as the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the feeling when you trust the part of yourself that lives in a constant state of fear of falling down from a flight of stairs. But that part of you also knows that going down the stairs is easy and that you won’t necessarily fall down because there are handle bars to hold on to. Walking down a flight of stairs is easier than walking.  You know “Gravity”. (Not the movie. But the physics.)

That part of you is not totally unnecessary. Think of all the times you have actually fallen down the stairs even though there were handle bars. But think of the zillions of times you did not. That part of you is there just to tell you to take caution while going downstairs. And a little bit of caution is necessary.

Self-doubt will always be there. Telling you that you are not good enough. Your work is not good enough. Your clumsy legs will never get down the flight of stairs safely. But that just means that you have to go down with steady legs and hold on to the handlebars. You have to revise your work and improve on it like you just have to improve on the things you don’t like about yourself.

Sometimes self-doubt can cripple you. And when that happens, take a step back from the situation. Take a break. Listen to your favorite music. Eat something that makes your taste-sense happy. Go out with people. And then when you think you are ready, tackle the situation again. Because sometimes you need to take a step back to take a leap forward.