Self-doubt is something I really struggle with. There’s almost no situation in which my inner saboteur doesn’t have an opinion. It can be as simple as getting out of bed on a Monday morning and the inner voice will tell me I can’t do it – and for a split second, I usually believe her. It takes a lot of effort to shake it off. However, there’s a big difference between being told you can’t do something by your own anxiety – and being told you can’t do something by somebody else.
OH HELL NO.
I’ve found myself in countless scenarios where someone has doubted my ability to do something. I once did a 300-foot bungy swing just to prove to my Horrible Boyfriend™ that I wasn’t a wimp. He mocked my fear in front of everyone so I felt obliged to prove him wrong. It was the worst five minutes of my life and I hard swore all the way down BUT I DID IT. In fact, looking back, that philosophy could be half the reason I ended up in such a bad relationship in the first place – my friends told me not to date him and were dumbstruck that I’d go for someone so… unlike me – so I hung on for dear life. How I wish I’d listened.
The moral is, if you tell me I can’t – I’m going to do it.
This stubbornness in the face of doubters can be seen as both a positive and a negative. It can lead as described above to some truly inadvisable situations – nobody needs to swing from a 300-foot height for no reason. Nobody. And nobody needs to date the so-called ‘bad boy’ (LOL) for six years just because everyone’s telling her she can’t. It’s the Romeo & Juliet effect without any of the romance.
But being told you can’t do something and proving everyone wrong can be incredibly motivating too. When people don’t believe in you the way your best friends, mother and the drunk girl in the toilets do, it’s satisfying to wipe the smirk off smug faces. Or rub their stupid smug faces in your success. Anyway, who doesn’t cheer on their friends and loved ones in the first place? This world has enough issues as it is – ones that are getting worse – can’t we just be cheerleaders for everyone we know?
It’s a shame I didn’t have this attitude back in high school when my biology teacher told me I wasn’t smart enough to be a vet, isn’t it?
*Another recycled work post.