Confession: I struggle with self-doubt.
That probably doesn’t seem like a big reveal because I’m sure most human beings have self-doubt every now and again. (If you haven’t, you just MAY be narcissistic and that’s fine as long as you aren’t a jackass.)
But here’s the thing… You know how some people are so full of themselves that every time they open their mouths they must boast about their knowledge and abilities on EVERY. DAMN. THING? Like you cannot have a conversation without being told how awesome they are, how much they can do, how they are the ONLY one to have/can ever done/do XYZ? The type of person who must tell EVERYONE how wonderful they are, because there’s no way people would know unless they shout it from the rooftops… (even if they have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to have that kind of self-confidence)
You know.. this is not a political rant at all, but that paragraph above DOES sound a teeny bit like… well you know… moving on…
Okay, so my problem is I’m like the OPPOSITE of that. Take a person who has not shown any sort of skill but swears they have it to anyone who will listen, and flip it on its head. Then you have me. Even writing that makes me feel like I’m being arrogant, but I’ll try to power through it for the sake of this post.
I was blessed to be born with some talent in a few things. I’m a self-taught musician. I can tinker on about 4 instruments, (although in my mind not that well), but of the 4, I excel as a drummer. For years, I was sought out by choirs, churches, gospel groups, etc. People thought I was really good, but all I could see was my downfalls. I taught myself at a predominately white High School playing band songs like Wooly Bully and Proud Mary, (NOTHING like the Tina Turner version, believe me), and Disney theme songs. But I can’t count. Seriously.. if you know anything about music, you know that counting is fairly important. My first instrument was the sax and all the songs we did were popular music, so I didn’t have to count, I knew the song and I just had to get the notes. The same with the drums. If I hear the song, I can come up with something suitable. To some that’s pretty cool… but it’s kind of embarrassing to be a drummer who can’t count.
I have been writing since I was a kid. I used to write poetry in this spiral notebook I carried around. One day in junior high, one of my classmates picked it up and started reading and commenced to telling everyone how awesome they were.. I thought they were stupid. Pretty soon, people started wanting to read the poems I wrote, and for the life of me, I had no idea why. Fast forward to my adulthood, a friend who was getting married wanted an original wedding song and ended up selecting a poem I wrote in 7th grade! I don’t get it. I now refuse to show those things off to people. I just don’t know what others saw in them. However, this inner poet came out even more in college when I began writing song lyrics for a singing group I used to be with. Some of these songs are RECORDED, guys! Like, an album and everything. But when a song comes on when I’m at my moms, (because my mom keeps music done by my brother and me in her standard musical rotation) I cringe.
This self-deprecating rant is going somewhere, hang in there…
So, when I decided I wanted to write a book, I did it just to see if I could finish one. Once I finished it, I thought it may be good and timely, and so we decided to try to publish it. But in my mind, I would have an agent and a team of people around who could hype it up for me, so I wouldn’t have to do it. But now that I know I’m not going to have that, I have to do it myself. Therein lies the problem.
I would love to be the type to announce myself like a carnival barker and tell people that I’m awesome, but the crippling self-doubt makes that so difficult. It’s like I’m a walking paradox. How can I believe in my work, (which I do, I really do!) but not believe in myself? How can I get past that conflict? I never want to come across as the blustering windbag type person I outlined above, so I fall so far on the opposite extreme and feel like acknowledging any good in myself is vain.
I can’t seem to find that middle ground of self-confidence. How can I market myself if I cannot be confident in myself? Tis quite the conundrum.
I’ll let you know if I figure it out..