I have always been very self critical. It's difficult because it results in sabotage of my writing and my sense of self. I've worried what others think of me, which is really a ludicrous point of view. All that matters is what kind of person I am, the confidence I have in myself to create, and how I treat others.
I remember feeling so lost when I was 15 and 16 because I felt no one encouraged my writing or my art. I used to paint and draw and write and teachers would basically just look at my stuff and not say anything. They would encourage others but my work was somehow not good enough, not interesting enough, etc. What I should have done was ignore that and simply go on creating but I let it affect me, first by not continuing in art and second by doubting--continually, even to this day-- my own ability to write. I even make a living at writing now and I still doubt my abilities. It's pathetic.
A person cannot depend on others to decide their worth or their abilities. It is up to each of us to believe and to practice and to do, to create, to be who we are with all our strength and dedication and all the joy we can muster. I truly believe that. It has taken me many years to learn that lesson, not just in my head but in my heart. I did feel like I was approaching it, I was writing a lot and feeling good. But my marriage was a long, 13-year slide into doubt and self criticism again. I let someone else tear me down; I allowed that. But never again.
It's such a first world problem; I think of all the people struggling for food and shelter who have no time to ponder their self-consciousness. And yet I believe that even those people have to believe in themselves in order to continue on in the world, in order to survive and hopefully one day to thrive.
I am writing now again. I am planning on writing for a living (see my wordyandwise.wordpress.com grant writing business site). My ex laughs at me because he's convinced I can't do that and survive. Well, perhaps the woman he was married to couldn't, but the woman I am now can do anything she wants--create, work, write for a living, maybe even paint again. Will it be easy? No. Nothing that is worthwhile is easy. But for me, sitting in a cubicle working for someone else is not easy either. It is depressing and spirit killing. With my own freelance work, I can also do something I love: establish a local food program to help inner city people get good, organic food at low cost. That's something I feel passionate about.
I am scared. How would it be possible not to be scared about not having a "regular" job after Dec. 31? But I will get by. There is severance pay, retention bonus, regular bonus, insurance through next March, unemployment, insurance through ACA afterwards, cheaper rent, refinancing my car to a lower rate. And I know how to make money. And I know how to write. And I will have a business and do what I love. And determination is part of having confidence.
And now I know how to be confident again.