Many of us who are creative have issues with being hard on ourselves. I know I am. I often think, “why would anyone ever want to read my work or look at my painting.” It’s a similar story in life. I often times question whether I’m good enough and I’ve written about this before. The thing is, I’m learning to accept that I am absolutely good enough. I am more than good enough. Wow, that’s even hard for me to say, much less write.
Many creative people suffer from self worth issues. It’s just one of those things we stress over. You see, in my case, I have always worried about pleasing people. I want the world to be happy. I want to make each person I come in contact with to be happier because of me, or something I’ve done. I hope this makes sense to you. I just hate disappointing anyone. The very thought of being a disappointment causes anxiety.
I have struggled with being enough for many reasons my whole life. I always have considered myself not enough. When I was young, I wanted so badly to be like my big brother. He was so smart, so good at school and tennis. In my mind, he had everything that pleased my parents. I felt like I never filled their expectations of what I should be. I was just above average in school, I didn’t feel very smart and I was just okay at tennis. What I excelled in was music. My brother played piano as well, but did not have the talent that I did. He can not sing like I can.
Now, I realize that it’s okay to have different talents. I also realize that I made up this idea in my head that I wasn’t good enough. Sure, my parents wanted and expected me to excel, but my mom always said, “just always do the very best you can and we will be happy.” My dad, on the other hand, was a man of very few words. I guess I wanted him to tell me that he was proud of me. He finally did when I became a nurse. I was over the moon with happiness. I finally felt like I had his approval and felt his joy for something I had accomplished. It felt so good!
If only that was the only time I felt like I was enough all the time, I wouldn’t question my strengths. I wouldn’t question whether my writing was good enough to be read by others. I wouldn’t ask if someone would actually like the butterfly or flower picture I worked so hard to create. I wouldn’t mind playing piano in public places anymore, even though I’m rusty and I would actually offer to sing the solos in choir at church. But I don’t. I know that I may be enough, but to imagine myself as actually good? Well, that’s where it gets difficult. I just continue to work on believing that I’m good enough and pray that someday, I’ll move up my scale to a good. I know too many people that are far more talented than I could ever hope to become.
But what happens now? I keep plodding along and marching to my own drummer hoping someday, I’ll have the accompaniment to go along with that drumbeat. I still battle the self-doubt and self-worth issues, but I’m working on those every day. I have to because it is me, and only me that can change how I view myself and my world. I try speaking to myself kindly and thinking kindly as well as doing kind things for others. What I have learned so far, is that we are our own worst critics. We are hardest on ourselves. It’s something that we need to all work on Step back, look at yourself and try to imagine yourself as others see you. I guarantee, they see someone who isn’t as bad as you do.