Have you ever wanted to do something so bad but didn’t know where to start? Have you ever struggled with thinking you couldn’t achieve something because you didn’t have the skills or the knowledge to? I have. This is my raw truth for you, and it’s as real and as raw as it gets. We all struggle with self-doubt. Those people who are always so optimistic are lying. Self-doubt occurs when you want to start but don’t think you’re good enough. Honestly, it probably starts in middle school. You want to try out for that sports team, you don’t think you’ll make it. You want to ask that girl/guy out, you don’t think they’ll say yes. It’s about doubting yourself and much more than that, doubting your capabilities and the likelihood of success.
Fast forward to your adult years, and now you’re facing a job interview, or like me: wanting to start a blog and make a website. You want to start your own business but LORD KNOWS how hard that’s gonna be. As I sit here writing from Latvia, I learned that with the lifestyle I live–being away from home for long periods of time—working a traditional job just isn’t really going to work. I say that because I’d rather be overseas with my husband than at home without him. Some women will disagree, but that’s why this is my raw truth. I love to write but up until now have been doubtful of my abilities. I love to help people, but how could I do that with a measly blog? I’ve sat here every day, since August, pretty much doing nothing. I live in a small town, 2 hrs away from the capital so there’s literally nothing to do. My next self-doubting thought was: how would I create content in a town where there’s nothing? No cool shops, no cool landmarks, just….a beach, cow statues, and a shipping port? My next self-doubting thought: how do I even make a website?? All these blogs I’ve read are so beautifully put together, how do they do this??
"Wife = Nobody"
Each thought after thought pushed me further and further down into a hole that I didn’t want to come out of. I was in a headspace that was controlled by negativity, lack of confidence and doubt. I didn’t see myself as capable of practically anything. In my head, I had no useful skills, hell, I didn’t even have any real hobbies. I would sit in this little apartment, mindlessly, watching people walk by, wondering what my life would be like if I was home, or anywhere better than here. I cried, alot. I cried when my husband wasn’t here, I cried when he was. I struggled and I struggled. Your mind can be a POWERFUL tool and not always in a good way. That’s why it’s important to check in on your friends. You never know what they’re going through. That’s why it’s important to focus on your mental health. I don’t know if depression is the right word, but I spiraled down into a dark place. On top of that, I didn’t want to tell anyone what I was going through. I didn’t want to be that transparent because I would feel even worse. I wasn’t making any money, online jobs were few and far in between and all I had was myself. And to me, that wasn’t worth anything. In a world full of entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, and just successful people in general, just having myself wasn’t worth anything to me. Supporting my husband as his wife wasn’t good enough for me. Cooking and cleaning wasn’t good enough for me. He always told me “you’re doing far more than you think”, but that wasn’t good enough. In my head, if I wasn’t contributing financially, I was no one. I hail from Washington, DC where every conversation includes “so what do you do?”. I hate that question. I literally hate it. It gives me anxiety. Why? Because in my plagued mind, I do nothing. I am nobody and I’ve contributed nothing.
Ok, back to the story.
"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired!"
One day, in January, I got tired of this feeling. I got tired of doubting myself. I got sick and tired of the mental battle that was going on in my head. I decided it had to stop. I decided that I WAS enough. I told myself that I DO have talents and skills. I decided that no matter what, you can’t fail at something if you don’t ever begin. You can’t know if you’re not good if you don’t ever try. So, I opened my laptop and I began to write. I began to read more. I bought hosting for my website and began to learn WordPress. I stopped sleeping in until noon (yes, I seriously was doing this). I started structuring my day better. I got out of the house more. I go to my favorite coffeeshop a few times a week just to be in a different environment where I can write.
I wanted to get rid of these feelings of self-doubt that had halted me from reaching my true potential. And here I am today. I’ve started my blog, I’ve made a pretty decent website, I budget our expenses every month down to 0 all while focusing on debt. I’m happier, I’ve started working out more and it’s still an everyday struggle.
"Beauty After The Storm"
I don’t have it all together, and I bet you don’t either.
The beauty in that comes with first acknowledging it, and in knowing that, continuing to push yourself until you can look at yourself and be happy with what you see. I compared my success or lack thereof, to others, and I would strongly discourage that. I think everyone compares themselves to those around them or sadly on social media, even if they don’t realize it, and honestly, we’re human. We see others doing so well and think we aren’t successful if we’re not doing as good as what we see. Until you can look at yourself and not instantly go to a negative place, you will always hold yourself back from your fullest potential. I’ve been to that negative place, it’s not fun. I don’t want to go back there. I use that fear of going back as a strong momentum and even as I write this, I can’t help but think how the power of self-doubt can truly consume you. That’s my raw truth.