86. How do I believe in myself?

Lately, I’ve been struggling to get started and continue with certain projects because I don’t really believe I can do them successfully.

For example, I usually wait around for my husband to do construction projects, because I figure he can do them better than I can, and because I’m scared to get started and make mistakes. And I have made mistakes, but I am also capable enough that I just need to get started.

I also think about writing novels again, but the fact is, millions of novels are written and only thousands are read by a large group of people. So it’s hard to get to back to writing when the data simply says that I’ll never be good enough.

I still have a hard time believing that I am good at math or statistics and would be able to complete higher-level classes that involve calculus and more complex modeling.

And I don’t really believe I could get anything published, so I often don’t even write in the first place. And I have a hard time thinking I could ever have a social media following, so I never post on my home renovation Instagram account.

I don’t necessarily want to do all of those things, but I often don’t get started and flounder away in the beginning stages because I don’t want to try and fail. If failure is so common and success is so rare, why try anyway?

The wisdom of the quote books say that it is better to try and fail than to not try at all (I’m looking at you, Theodore Roosevelt, and you’re refrain that I should be daring greatly).

But here’s the thing: you often hear from successful people how to be successful, but you never hear from the thousands and millions of people who try and fail. Failure is often much more common than success, and you can do everything right and still fail, since success is a whole lot of luck.

But I have to ignore the data, and believe in myself irrationally, and just keep trying. Because the quotes are right: it is much more fun to fail spectacularly than to waste away your time in things that don’t matter much.

I guess I don’t have to believe that I’ll be successful: I just have to believe that I can try and make an attempt at it. And if I fail and make mistakes, I’ll be okay.

1 comment

  1. I think we need to believe more in the process than the outcome. Life really is about the doing. I say that, but I’ve spent so much energy on wanting to get to the end of something. This is a hard question.

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