Paul Jarvis

I am my own worst enemy

There’s nothing any troll has said about me, my work or what I put out into the world that I haven’t thought to myself at least once or twice.

As creative folks, we tend to talk ourselves out of things we really want to do, or make or put out into the world. And then we begin to believe the stories we tell ourselves — there’s no time, we’re not as good as so-and-so, we’re not skilled enough, we could fail, people won’t like what we create and so on.

I held myself back from being a writer for 15 years. 15 years. Ridiculous, right? Because all you need to do to be a writer is to write. And I talked myself out of it for a decade and a half. My “logic” wasn’t based in fact, data or even actual logic. It was just my brain saying that I shouldn’t try because I could potentially fail.

The only reason I finally got over myself and started to share my writing was because I realized that even the greatest failure that could come of me writing wasn’t that bad. If people disliked it or hated me for selling it? So what. People dislike me regardless of whether I write down words or not.

The funny thing with being afraid of potential future things happening is that they’re almost always super exaggerated. My fear of criticism was huge until I started writing and getting criticized. Now that I write and do get criticized for it, it’s not that big of a deal. I know those folks aren’t my rat people. I know they are just projecting their own issues at me (which mostly has nothing to do with me).

I’ve learned that my doubts and fears can be overcome with action. And that they can exist in tandem with action. So if I’m scared to do something and I do it any way, I’ll live. And more importantly, that fear will disappear a little (or a lot) in the process of me doing what I’m scared of. Sometimes, in spite of fear, the best to create something is right now.

“Give up on yourself. Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator, or unhealthy, or lazy, or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.” Shoma Morita

Most of the time, we need to get out of our own way to start creating things we really want to make. It’s never a matter of banishing the fears and doubts we have, because those never go away. It’s more a matter of moving forward in spite of them.

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