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Self-Sabotage & Self-Doubt

I have been working hard all month to proofread my novel. Until these past few days that is. I know I should open that document and just do a paragraph. Any little bit is progress. But there always seems to be a point in every project where things start to feel a bit too real for me. I realized that I really could have this book proofread in the next 9 months, that it really will only take a couple more months. For some reason that terrifies me! I want to have a second draft. Even with a second draft, there’ll be so much more work to do. Maybe what scares me so much is that I don’t know very much about what to do after besides have a friend/s proofread…

The unknown can be scary at times. I am totally fine walking around cities by myself without a plan, as long as I know I can find my car again. But when it comes to life, the boundaries are less obvious and the safe zone of the “car” is harder to figure out how to get back to. Or maybe it’s that life’s map is much harder to read than a city map. Or maybe it is that I’m less sure where I want to go in life. I can wander around a city without a destination in mind, but life there really should be some goals along the way, even if I’m not completely sure where I want to be in the end.

I think we all self-sabotage in some ways. We work towards a goal for so long (in my case, I’ve been working on this book for 5 years), we build it into something so big it seems unattainable. Something that maybe started as a project becomes a dream, then scares us into becoming a project again—a project that can be set on the back burner for now, but now becomes weeks, months, years, never. Sometimes we think we dream too big, but I think that really we dream too small. Or maybe we dream big enough but are too afraid to admit it. We convince ourselves things aren’t for us when we were made for them.

Maybe I’ll never be published, but the friend I started writing this book for deserves a nice draft! I deserve to celebrate that I’ve written a book! I didn’t celebrate finishing a rough draft (I think I only told one person. I still haven’t directly told too many others that I have written a book. I occasionally post something about it on my Instagram, but that shouldn’t really count), so I need to celebrate when this draft is done… How should I celebrate?

Changing subjects, self-doubt can be related to self-sabotage, but are they the same thing? Doubting yourself opens yourself up for failure. When I started this blogpost, I was thinking that some doubts are warranted. I have an interview tomorrow with Reading Corps. I have a reading disability. I consider it only a slight disability now a days (elementary school was hard for me, but I do have a bachelor’s degree in English), but reading aloud brings back all those doubts. Of course, reading is part of my interview tomorrow. Thinking about my trouble reading makes me stumble more.

This job is something I want to do so much. I have always thought about tutoring, but I have also always doubted that I am proficient enough to help others with reading. I stumble at reading, I am terrible at spelling (I had to change the spelling of tutor and I want to be one?!), but I desperately want to help kids because I know how it feels. Maybe I’ve never doubted my intelligence, but I do still feel stupid when I have to read in front of a group.

Well, now that you know about my self-doubts, tell me your thoughts! Are self-doubts ever not self-sabotage? Do you have any recommendations for overcoming self-doubts and/or self-sabotage?


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