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    No Doubt: The Best Thing Yet

    To put pen to paper and start writing this wasn't easy. I wanted to start writing, I intended to start writing, but something was stopping me from actually writing. In fact, the majority of things in my life that I have thus far intended to do have often been just that, an intention. Why? Not because I don’t have the ability to write, to create, to do what I intend to do, not because I don’t have the motivation or the will but, because of fear, anxiety and doubt.

    Because I have always been convinced that whatever I do will fail. I have spent most of my life coming up with reasons why I shouldn't do something rather than why I should. There has always been that little voice inside my head (that negative voice) to back up my doubts, to agree with my fears and to stop me before I have even begun. Being diagnosed with an illness 10 years ago that thrives on my self doubt and lack of self esteem and which has lead me to believe that I would never be “good enough”, has made taking a leap, following my passions and doing what I want to do seem an impossible feat. It is this fear; the fear of the unknown, the fear that with a leap of faith something will go wrong, that I will be criticised or punished for my mistakes that, for the most part, has meant living life at a standstill.

    Subconsciously, I have learnt “the pattern of selfdoubt” as a “protection against failure” and it is a pattern that has without a doubt been hard to start to break. When I think about it, what is it worth to me to take control, ignore the fear and do what ever it is I want to do anyway? It just doesn’t make sense to me. When there is fear and anxiety that comes with every intention, why would I go against the fear and proceed to the act of “doing”? Especially when I have done a decent job of convincing myself that I am destined to fail.

    In my mind, it has just never made any sense to ignore my fears and doubts, to put myself in a vulnerable situation where there is the potential for something to go wrong. It just hasn’t made sense to me, until recently. Within a few short months of leaving a demanding job and working on regaining my health, I was lucky to have the opportunity to reassess my life and figure out a way forward that would hopefully work for me. And yes, this did mean thinking about what I wanted and then thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn’t do it but, this time I went ahead and did what I wanted to do anyway. With the determination to follow my passion and to avoid living a life of “what if’s”, I took a step of faith and followed my dream by starting up my own Graphic Design business. I would like to say it was a giant leap of faith but I think it was more like a step, and for me, a step was actually more effective.

    It was one foot forward (under safe conditions) and then the other, with the idea that it was ok if things didn’t work out exactly how I imagined. Now that I have taken that step into the unknown, I wish I had done it sooner. Obviously there was (and still are) fears; fears that the jobs will stop coming in, fears that people won’t like me, fears that clients will reject the creative results presented to them. But thankfully, conquering each fear has given me a new respect for myself and has given me the confidence to conquer another.

    The thing about fear, uncertainty and doubt is that they can be managed. They might not ever fully disappear but with time, you can learn to put them to one side and get on with life. And really, what is the worst thing that could happen if you took a leap of faith anyway? Is failing really so bad? Is starting over so bad? When you face your fears head on and experience success you are much more able to “release past programming, and learn” that you “don’t need to be afraid of trying new things”. You will find that it is ok to just let go. And, you might just find, it is the best thing you have ever done.

    This blog was written Kate Wilkes of Speckle Spot Creative Limited.

    Website: http://specklespot.com/

    Additional Information Some resources / tools that may help if you are looking at ways to manage self-doubt and deal with fear, can be found here:

    http://tinybuddha.com
    https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/8-wayshighly-successful-people-overcome-self-doubt/
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241775 http://writetodone.com/4-reasons-to-appreciate-your-self-doubts/
    http://blog.crew.co/use-self-doubt-to-your-advantage/