Guilt & Fear & Self-Doubt

November 18, 2015 LifeWriting  2 comments

 I have been stuck in a place of guilt and fear for the better part of the last three years.


And it’s made it really fucking difficult to get anything of value done. (And by value, I mean writing — my book, this blog.)


Guilt that said things like, “How can you even think of pursuing this dream of yours when so many of your friends and family are struggling: in jobs they despise? with debt? with money struggles? How selfish can you get?”


“If it weren’t for your brilliant tech-rockstar husband who can financially support your full-time pursuit of a writing career, you’d never have the heart to do it. So that must mean that you’re not a ‘real’ writer. And therefore, you don’t deserve to do this.”


“It doesn’t matter that writing is what makes you come alive. It doesn’t help anyone. It’s selfish. So go back to school for social work, get out there and do something with your life: make a difference.”


What this guilt is really saying is: “Your needs and desires are not important. Put everyone else’s needs first. Spend yourself saving the world.”


Self-doubt that said, “You have nothing of value to contribute.”


“No one wants to hear what you have to say.”


Fear that said things like, “What if no one cares?”


“What if this is all for nothing?”


“What if I can’t afford to write for a living? What if I had to work a job I hate and lose my soul in the process?”


And the loudest of them all: “What happens when (note: not ‘if’ but ‘when’) something happens between you and Andrew (ie: he leaves you, you get divorced, he dies) how will you be able to support yourself? How reckless and foolish of you to spend your time pursuing a passion that might not ever pay out when you could’ve been building a ‘real’ career this whole time! You’re going to look so stupid when everything falls apart and you’re left with nothing and no way to support yourself.”


What this fear is really saying is: “You can’t depend on other people. It’s unwise to do so.”


But despite all these voices screaming in my head, there are brief moments, glimpses, where I am able to breakthrough all the noise to hear what my heart has been trying to say this entire time: Write. Write. Write. This is your destiny. This is what you were put on this earth to do. This is how you will change the world. You have a story worth telling. Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say. 


When I cut away all the bullshit, I’m left with the truth. And the truth is, if my path–my highest calling, if you will–was to become a career person, or a social worker, or any number of things I tell myself I “should be” doing, I never would’ve started writing in the first place.


So, I’m left in this place where I know what I Must do, but I’m constantly fighting with all the things I “should be” doing and the guilt and the fear and the doubt.


When it comes to the guilt, I’m learning how to rewrite my old broken scripts for better ones.


And as for the fear and the doubt, what I’ve come to is this:

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.52.23 PM

And if that time of disaster and destruction ever does come, in the midst of debris and chaos, I want to be able to say that I was all in. That I gave it everything I had while I had the chance.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

What about you? How does fear and guilt and doubts and the “Should’s” show up in your life? 
And more importantly, how do you kick their collective asses to the curb? 
I want to know.


Until next time, farewell, & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.


photo cred

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