Living with perpetual Doubt

‘My life has been filled with terrible misfortune, most of which never happened’ – Michel de Montaigne

I don’t see myself as a creator, entrepreneur. I have never thought of myself as a writer or artist. Whatever ideas I might have had were ground out of me in my youth.

However, the idea of ceating art or writing never went away. The thoughts in my head was always ‘can I be a writer?’, ‘can I be an artist?’

It’s a question that plagued me for decades until in 2012, when I bit the bullet and started a blog. Yet my commitment was lacking because the question never went away. Doubt remained and I wanted answers.

This doubt is what has stopped me from fully committing to my writing. Do I have what it takes?

My desire to be a writer has always existed alongside these doubts. It’s a question that I still don’t have an answer to and the problem is that kind of doubt saps your motivation to create. It’s why years later my blog is tiny with virtually no readership.

Am I just wasting my time?

Should I move onto something else? What else?

Perhaps I’m just not that good at this stuff. Worst still I’m fascinated by many things. I think I’m one of those Multipotentialites that Emile talks about over at Puttylike.

It’s hard to get good at something when your mind says, ‘look shiny!’ all the time. The economy is not made for generalists, only specialists.

It’s why the job I have, I hate. A menial low pay job that does little to help me get better at the skills of writing, creating, entrepreneurship. It’s why I feel stuck there, trapped.

Yet what am I to do? How do I face this doubt and uncertainty? Turn away from creating or keep going?

Do I even want to be a writer? Is being a writer is to write a blog, a book, create an online course, run seminars, workshops, conferences? Because that’s what a lot of other writers do.

All that seem overwhelming. I’m not sure I want all that, yet that lifestyle of an artist, a writer is compelling.

The doubt about my path never stops and it’s hard to keep going if the outcome is uncertain and I’m not sure I want it. It’s also hard to keep going if you’re talking to no-one. If there’s no response, or feedback from on you offer. Sometimes I doubt if anyone is really interested in what I have to say, whether they care

I guess I want all the answers laid out before me.

That’s too much to ask I know. What I have learned from reading is that it doesn’t work like that.

‘The answers will come in time’, is what I tell myself. I’m trying to follow my own advice.

But that’s still not good enough. I need to know those answers. I envy those people who have a clear purpose in mind. I have never had one in my life. Perhaps explaining my lack of growth.

It’s a clear purpose necessary? I don’t know. Should I keep going or do something else? I just don’t know.

I don’t know is all I seem to have. Yet I can’t seem to give up trying. The desperate search not no longer be desperately searching. I’m stuck in a liminal place. I’m neither one thing nor another.

Am I just some average joe stuck in a dead-end job, or can I be something more? I feel the desire the passion to be more yet none of that emotion or the work I have done has yet translated into any kind of success.

These in-between places fascinate me yet they are hard places to be.

Ask questions and get no answers.

I want to seize this moment, take charge, drive forward with confidence and determination. Like the heroes of old, of stories. The Hero makes things happen, they seize their destiny and take control.

My doubts sabotage that ethos. I don’t seem to be seizing anything. More like a hero who shouts ‘meh’ then does something vaguely risky. Not out of conviction or desire but because there’s nothing else to do.

Hardly the heroic attitude. A short of half arsed’ heroism.

If I do ever succeed it won’t be by design but by accident I think. I hate that. I hate that I can’t seize my destiny, that my doubts are too great. I can’t be the type of person that I read about. The explorers, writers, artists who have a vision or an idea and diligently work towards it making it real. That kind of work seems to be what heroes, builders and leaders are made of.

That just doesn’t seem to be me. Is there something wrong with me? Is it my fault?

Doubt about the future and doubts about myself. Each feeding the other. I’m doubly damned.

It’s so much doubt about finding success, but it’s more I doubt my ability to find a path to success. Whatever that succeed may look like. Have I got what I talked to keep trying and do the necessary work?

I guess I’m someone who has a lot of fear and low self esteem. Fear because I know I can’t go on as I am and remain mediocre. Fear I don’t desereve happiness and success. Fear of what I might become and fear I may not be able to handle it.

It’s hard to say goodbye to your past and difficult to say hello to the future. I feel it should be easier?

Such a bittersweet emotion. This is the space in-between. Fear, doubt, hope, and longing.

What do I do? It’s a plan of not having much of a plan.

Rigid adherence to plans is not a good idea. I guess I’ll just keep plugging away and we what happens. Meeting Serendipity Half way, is the principle as I like to call it.

It seems so absurd it might actually work.

I have some ideas about what a good life is for me, but I doubt my ability to create that life and whether or not I would enjoy it.

This perpetual doubt is hard to live with and it appears to be my default feeling. Occasionally interspaced with occasional passion, desire, and joy.

It’s like being in the middle of a story, in a book or film. You don’t want to stop but you feel apprehensive about moving forwards. I can really feel stories, live out the emotions of the protagonists. The fear the tension, joy, confusion and triumph.

It’s learning how to carry those doubts, fears, hopes and still move forward. I guess I just have to keep moving forward. (Just keep swimming, swimming – Dory, Finding Nemo)

To stumble ever onwards in the fear and the trembling.

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