Monday, March 21, 2011

How I Conquer Self-Doubt

I’ve noticed a pattern in how my confidence levels fluctuate, and I learned a little trick that keeps me from doubting myself.

I started querying agents when I was thirteen years old, so I’m pretty familiar with rejection and the ups and downs of doubt. Right now I think Sacred Fire is a precious gem, so it’s crazy to look back and remember how many times I didn’t think it was good enough to finish. I wonder, “What was I so worried about?”

But after looking back, I look forward and know I will feel the same way about it many times down the line. My book and I are only at the beginning of a long journey.

A month ago, I read my husband’s beta comments and felt overwhelmed by all the changes I had to make. I wondered if all those changes were even possible. That evening, I wallowed in self-doubt.

The next day, I felt better and got back to work.

That’s when it clicked: I’ve experienced periodic self-doubt since I was a kid, and it always goes away. Sometimes my doubt lasts up to a week, but most of the time, I only have to sleep on it to feel better.

I've learned from experience that there's an answer to every question, a solution for every problem, and a way to conquer every weakness. 
Once I realized how temporary my doubt is, I stopped taking it so seriously. Now when I get visited by the Doubt Monster, I shrug and say, “Whatever, I’ll take a break from writing while you’re here. Be sure to shut the door on your way out.”

Post of the Day: Tips on Squashing Your Self-Doubt Demons


  1. Teralyn, this is a great attitude. I've been trying to do something similar - I've found that when I freak out about something (since October, mainly my dissertation), it only lasts a little while until I remember, wait a second, I can totally do this. Thanks for this post. It's helping me pull myself back into that correct zone!

  2. Hehe, I have no idea how I keep winning, because I usually don't win stuff, ever - but I did actually stop entering contests a while ago because I kept winning stuff. But when it's a blogfest, i still want to enter. :P I could always say "but don't enter me in for the prize!" i guess. lol

  3. I love your attitude. I think we all get bit by the Doubt Monster-- I know I am all the time. But if we just give it a little time and keep working, like you said, it tends to go away!


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