SELF DOUBT AND THE GREAT IDEA

It’s been a while. Sorry. Life kind of got in the way, you know how it does.

At the moment I’m very animated about a story that I’m writing. Write what you know they say so it’s all about self doubt. You probably know how it goes. You have an idea, meet someone, apply for a job – whatever. It goes well. You are all fired up by it. You catch yourself dreaming about what will happen when you are successful. You might even run through a couple of conversations in your head – how you could announce your news, a pithy one liner for those that doubted you.

Then something happens. The gilt comes off the edges of your idea. You investigate it further and discover that instead of it being a priceless piece of Faberge jewellery, it is, in fact, just paste. You deride yourself for having thought that your idea could ever come to fruition. You mentally go through a list of anyone that you might have seen whilst the idea was still fresh and exciting and make a judgement on their likelihood to scoff when, as you’re sure was obvious to them, it fails to come off.

By the time you’ve finished giving yourself a going over, the idea is such a bad one that you blush at the memory of it.

Ok. So maybe that’s an extreme case but you take my point. The interesting thing about all that is the idea doesn’t change. Yes, there is always time for mature reflection on something but fundamentally if you thought it was a great idea then it might well have been. And if you now think it sucks then that may well be because you are no longer on the same square as you were.

I am learning to recognise this in trait in myself and to give myself the chance to properly consider my ideas before I reject them out of hand. But what really interests me is the people that never suffer from this. There are loads of them. They have an idea and if they think its a good one then they plough on with it. At no point does their confidence in it wobble. They seem to bypass the whole self doubt thing and move straight on to completion whilst I am still wasting valuable time wondering whether I’m going to get egg on my face. I’m sure that their ideas are no better than mine but their self control apparently is.

So I’m writing a story about it. It’s easy to put myself in my protagonist’s place. I keep talking to people about how their self doubt manifests itself so that mine begins to look perfectly reasonable. I am also looking out for those who seem to have no self doubt at all (although surely either they are fibbing or some of their ideas must fall flat despite their confidence in them?! We can’t all have great ideas every time.)

If you feel you fall into either of these camps and are happy to share your experience then please get in touch. In the meantime, I’ll carry on with my story which, by next week, will no doubt have become the worst idea I ever had!

What do you think? I'd love to know...