“If you hear a voice that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh
I recently watched a documentary about Vivian Maier, a nanny who was discovered; she’d taken thousands of photos and hidden them well until she died. The negatives which were found in the pile of her trash (and ready to be thrown away); were later produced into what turned out to be exceptionally great pictures. It left everyone that knew her asking the question-“why did she hide such a gift from the world?” “What if they were never discovered?” While these questions were asked, one thing that struck me most was that, whether it was doubt or insecurity that made her hid her work; it didn’t stop her. She hung that camera around her neck and kept clicking on that shutter button until her death. And I applaud her.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it is the pebble in your shoe. Muhammad Ali.
I doubt almost (if not everything) I intend to do, and question my abilities, certainly when I write. I tend to walk cautiously on the frail path of life, afraid that my flaws will be seen. So I sell myself short, even before trying, simply because I just don’t know— “ If am capable or stupid, will people even like what I do?” While this attitude have held me back in life, and delayed many dreams; “Doubt has killed more dreams than failure has.” And no matter how floppy first attempts turns out to be, it’s okay to be ashamed; after all they say that shame doesn’t survive the spotlight.
Sometimes all we need is that one human confirmation that says “you’re good, keep it up!” But the truth is, sometimes we would hear that voice, and other times, all we would hear is nothing but our own voice silencing us and reminding us of how terrible we are. What can we do then? Here are a few things I am learning and trying, and so far it has been helpful;
Bare your doubt out; acknowledge that you’re vulnerable/insecure in that aspect of your life, and see how you can work with it. It will only keep you eager to work towards self- improvement. Learn from your insecurities; insecurity is good until it stops you from achieving your goal/dreams. Share them, because you never know who would resonate with it and you’d see that you’re not alone. If everyone were perfect, there would be no room for learning. Dare to begin; procrastination is not always a good companion. It is better to start something with shaky hands than never putting a confident hand to use. You can never know until you try. Try try try try, full stop.
Here is one of my favourite quotes of Wyne Dyer; “Be miserable or motivate yourself, whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” So whether it is that singing, acting, writing, cooking, photography or even painting career you’ve always dreamed of pursuing but doubt it; Just start. With faith, a positive attitude and an open mindset. I leave you with a new mantra I picked up from a blogger friend Mossonyi; “What I am seeking is seeking me.”
May we have the courage to get out of our own way, and be ready to give the energy we wish to attract. But above all, may we never die with our music still in us. Thank you for stopping by.