I’ve been putting forward serious effort to work on things I care about professionally for over a decade.
I expected, at some point, that I’d get backlash to my face (or clearly behind my back) about how much something I’ve done royally sucks. While I’ve had a bit of that – and perhaps I haven’t done anything so important as to warrant a large backlash – it hasn’t been near what I expected.
What I didn’t expect, is getting it worse than I expected, from myself.
I find my brain functions in some counterproductive ways, due to what I personally am coming to classify as mild mental illness. I don’t think others would look at me and say that, and I think if you could read my thoughts you might laugh at such a serious term to describe it.
But, I don’t think brains were created to pursue paths of self-destruction – and mine does in a variety of ways.
One of them is depression, most usually brought on (these days) by negative self-talk.
Currently I’m writing a book that’s intended to help people with struggles that I dealt with at one point or another. On the other side of them, seeing these struggles in others frustrates the hell out of me today. The book exists, for me, to essentially get that off my chest.
But wow has it been difficult to write, very unexpectedly.
Where I’m confident I can speak, and write truths, and things that help others – I face a constant battle mentally to reach the finish line.
“You have no right to write this.”
“Nobody will find value in this.”
“You’re too preachy. What are you even saying?”
“You’re not giving the reader their money’s worth.”
These things are a small sampling of the more polite moments that have been in my head. None of which, clearly, contributes to any helpful cause.
I find it’s an odd circumstance usually, when you’re trying to help others. What you tend to try and help out with, you end up struggling with and teaching yourself about again. This is one reason why I’ve repeated that you need to teach even if you feel like you’ll suck. You see your faults vividly when you teach and that only helps you improve faster.
That’s happened to me a number of times already, and it’s only happening again writing a book about how to become, be, and view yourself as a professional. These are all things I know how to do – and yet mentally I’m saying “YOU ARE CLUELESS!”.
Of course, this is an exact circumstance my reader will probably be struggling with if they’re afraid to refer to themselves as a professional.
You know how you get through this?
You go to war, you fight.
I sat down and stared at my computer to put out this week’s content (I’m trying to hit every Wednesday right now), and I felt incapable. I had no idea what to say. I felt like I had nothing of substance and I wanted to whine to someone and get reassured that I have value and what I say and do has value. I wanted to manipulate somebody so they would give me temporary happy feelings.
But then there would still be a blank page. None of that gets rid of the blank page, and therefore none of that actually gets rid of the feeling of inadequacy.
So what does?
Proving myself wrong.
Writing when I think I have nothing to say.
Publishing this when I don’t think it’s something special that people are going to be helped by.
Going to war against myself, my own temporary surface beliefs, and winning the fight – even if the content comes out a little bruised.
But the best part about this for me isn’t my own personal victory. It’s what you might get out of it.
I hope that one of you reads this and sees a bit of yourself. You know you struggle with projects that are meaningful to you. You know you have something to say, or give. You know that you’ve given up many times and you’re tempted to again. Maybe you already gave up and you feel guilty.
You don’t have to. You can, and you will, completely succeed. Just pick it back up and go to war with yourself. Don’t quit until you win.
I’m not special. I just try to work really hard, because I want special things. You have every capability to excel, far beyond anything you might currently think possible.
I believe in you. Go kick some ass.
Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.