If you need to believe in something, why not believe in yourself?
The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.
“You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” — Michael Phelps
I hate admitting this, but there was a time when a lack of confidence was a dominant factor in my life. It seems embarrassing, not because it happened, but because it took so long to recognize, diagnose, and treat the issue.
Fresh out of college, I took a horrible first job. At the time, I was thinking more about getting money and less about building a career — which is laughable since the paycheck and meager benefits were crappy, too. I languished in that gig, believing the figurative scraps and passive-aggressive disrespect were all I deserved.
It was the longest nine months of my life.
Back then, I didn’t stick with good habits, either, because I could not muster enough discipline to sustain them. I was shy with women, found it challenging to make new friends, and hesitated when I should’ve been assertive. I was terrified to share my creative writing with others, even though it was (and still is) my passion. I noticed opportunities but didn’t always act. I refused to stop loitering inside my comfort zone.
All because I didn’t believe I could be successful.
Now I wouldn’t claim to be completely free of self-doubt nowadays. But I honestly trust in myself like never before. And this doesn’t mean I never back down, screw up, or tap out. I do, more often than I’d like.
But that’s okay.
I detest that post-graduate phase of my life, but I gathered so much wisdom during it. Because of it, I discovered it’s okay to try and flop, to put yourself out there despite your imperfections, to meet new people and have them not instantly like you, to create something special yet have naysayers judge you unfairly.