Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Excitement vs Fear -- Round 2

Excitement vs Fear -- Round 2
I told myself I wasn't going to do it, and yet here I am doing it.  My old nemesis self-doubt is back.  I rarely allow myself to believe I'm good at anything.  The truth is I succeed in many things.  The problem is I've got too much modesty mingled with too much self-doubt to ever truly feel optimistic about most of what I do.

I'm an emotional person trapped in a logical person's body.  Or is it the other way around?  I want to balance what is realistic with what is optimistic.  I want to replace all of my ifs with whens, but I want to do it in such a way that doesn't get my hopes up too high.  So what am I afraid of?  Failure.

In many ways, LitD has been an experiment of sorts.  No, not the type of experiment about which I teach my AP Statistics students.  Okay, okay.  It's not an experiment at all.  It's an anecdotal exercise in forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  This is something I find myself doing (or attempting) more.  Last summer, I forced myself to initiate eight social situations.  I made it a goal and I succeeded.  Mind you, I was still overly embarrassed when a co-worker asked me to explain a document I emailed him yesterday.  I then spent the next twenty minutes re-reading the (short) file to determine what I may have done wrong.  I'm still not certain if he was jesting with me or not.  I'm easy bait.  

Now, I am forcing myself to move beyond my neatly arranged box of mathematics and into the terrifying world of writing.  This is how:

Today I distributed five copies of LitD to the five young adults who volunteered to help me tighten up my novel.  They already know this because I've told them multiple times, but I'm anxious about this step in my writing process.  Here's the thing:  I'm not anxious about criticism.  I love critiques.  I long to make everything I do better.  So, there is an element of excitement here too.  What I'm anxious about is...hm...maybe not being good enough?  It's hard to tell.

Until I put aside the self-doubt, I suppose I will be anxious about many steps in my journey to publication.  BUT! I am infinitely excited too.  (I'm sure I'll say that too much.)  And deep down, under everything, I know this is going to work, even if I only know it in small spurts.

How do you reclaim yourself from self-doubt?