Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Confidence

Sometimes, when I stop to think about it, I'm staggered by the amount of things I don't do because, on some level, I lack the confidence. I'm not talking about risk taking in the traditional sense--I'm not overly worried about the fact that I will most likely never voluntarily go skydiving, for example.

I'm talking about day-to-day things, work or creative projects or bright ideas that go unrealized because I've decided I just can't. Sure, some projects are inherently unfeasible, or impossible given time or money constraints, or just not great ideas from a practical standpoint. But so many others--even some of the ones that allegedly are impractical--fall into the category of stuff that I don't have the confidence to tackle. It even applies to blog posts: I get paralyzed because I convince myself nobody's going to care about what I have to say. Maybe they won't--that's not really the point. But it still has the power to scare me away.

Other things I haven't had the confidence to do: Write and draw a graphic novel. Be in a band (except for imaginary ones). Get over the idea that if I'm not constantly contributing directly and equitably to household income, that I'm somehow failing. Get over the idea that all work-related activities must earn income to be considered "real work." These last two are more substantial problems. (Some might call them actual problems as opposed to minor complaints.)

I feel ridiculous about this sometimes, because I know there's a lot of stuff I have done. But then I think about the things I tried to do and failed, or the ideas I started on and abandoned, muttering "What was I thinking?" And I balk. Again.

I'm in a serious "What was I thinking?" rut right now, which prompted this rather grim train of thought. Here's hoping I claw my way out soon and get some shit done.