Self Doubt: Where Can I Find My Cojones?

A couple of weeks ago, I quit my day job. To be honest, it ended up being a bit of a toxic, horrendous work situation (I’ll save that rant for another day) so going solo has been a huge weight off my shoulders. While I was in that job, my life was chaos – I was barely surviving. My days would be filled with a lot of commuting and organising the day as best I could but always forgetting to take the buggy or the raincover out of the car for the day, right in time when there’s a torrential rainstorm. I used to say to myself constantly that all I need is time. To breathe, to work, to figure out how I’m going to make a go of the freelance thing.

Time. For the past two weeks, after I get Emma off to nursery, the house is still, quiet. I’ve got all that time to get going on my plans for the future, to really get cracking. Yet what I’ve been left with is self-doubt. Can I really do this? Am I working hard enough? Is this how other freelance bloggers do it? So many questions. So much excitement for what could be and feeling like a little lost fish in a huge pond. I remember feeling like this when I first started blogging and the ever-supportive Tribal Chat girls told me how normal it is to feel that way. Even the other day, I read a brilliant post by Harriet of TobyandRoo on self-doubt and was so shocked that she feels it too.

But how do you deal with self-doubt when you’re a one man band? How do you pick yourself up again and sweep those feelings aside? There’s that saying ‘fake it til you make it’ but is that really enough? Because for me, doubting myself, feeling insecure is something that has been with me a whole lot longer than when I decided to share my thoughts, photos and musings with the blogosphere. It’s not as easy as it sounds to simply put on a brave face and keep plodding away, unsure whether you’re doing the right thing.

As a teenager I was your typical acne-ridden girl, who just didn’t have that inner-confidence I see in a lot of teens these days. Sometimes I’m in awe of their inner steel and wish it had been different for me. That feeling of being unsure of yourself and doubting whether you’re on the right track has stayed with me but as I got more established in my career, I found that I doubted myself much less. I grew a set of balls to tell colleagues when I thought they needed to look at it a different way. So I guess what I’m looking for is my own set of blogging ‘cojones’.

In truth I don’t have all the answers…actually I don’t have any! But what I’ve discovered this week is that sometimes it takes you by surprise what people think of you. Yesterday the nomination opened for the Brilliance in Blogging awards; I was initially filled with dread at the thought of that nomination process. I’d love to be nominated but also know how many brilliant bloggers there are – the whole thing seems so daunting to me. Then a few comments came in about my blog and my photography that really made me smile. It just reminded me why I’m doing this, because even just a couple of people taking notice and saying they enjoy what I write, that means such a lot. It reminded me that I need to believe in myself a little bit more.

So if you’re a one man band, and let’s face it, as bloggers we all are! Remember those positive comments, those tweets or messages that made your day. We all need to tell that niggly self-doubt to go away and just keep on going. Because I figure, somewhere along the line, that self-doubt will crop up less and less, well that’s the theory anyway. I’d love to know if you have any tips on dealing with self-doubt and confidence.

Now where’s my to-do list?

BritMums

I’d love your vote in the Brilliance in Blogging 2017 awards in the FRESH VOICE category.

If you enjoy reading my blog, you can vote here – it only takes 5 minutes, thank you! http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/

77 Comments

  1. May 11, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    It’s so funny that I am reading this, I am definitely feeling the self-doubt, I just wrote about post similar to this yesterday! Literally on the same page girl. You are amazing though! Don’t doubt yourself, I have watched your blog grow from the beginning, one of your first posts I read was about your transition into motherhood and it was beautiful – you had me – and you have done such a wonderful job since then, I am seriously so impressed! Keep going, you’ve definitely got this! I voted for you : ) #coolmumclub

    • May 11, 2017 / 2:17 pm

      Oh lovely, it’s so kind of you <3 Thank you for voting and also for your words - really cheered me up! It's easy to feel so overwhelmed by it all but I've just got to keep on trucking hey 😉 xxx

  2. May 11, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    LOVE this post. I am a purveyor of self doubt, I can’t help it. I do try really hard to believe in myself more but I am my own worst enemy and I over think/criticise errthang! H x

    • May 11, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Aw thank you for commenting lovely! I’m the same and can’t help but criticise myself all the time…xx

  3. May 11, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    I’m still trying to work it all out. I’m telling myself that when Youngest starts school in September will be when I start figuring this freelance stuff out…But like you I am the only holding myself back. I am riddled with self-doubt. We both need to find our cojones!

    • May 11, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Haha we really do! It’s hard when you just feel unsure all the time – but we’ll get there…maybe we just need a bit more time 🙂 xx

  4. May 11, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Self doubt is such a tough one. I always doubt myself but I’m lucky to have some great cheerleaders in my corner, who not only are always kind and shout about the great things I am capable of they are always honest as well and would soon tell me if something needed changing. So they are their for me, for when I am filled with doubt. #coolmumclub

  5. May 11, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    At times I’m full of self-doubt and it’s the one thing I’m always desperately trying to make sure my children don’t feel. So hard not to when you’ve made some big life changes recently as you have and everything feels unsettled. When I returned to teaching last year my self doubt was huge having not been in the classroom for so long. It’s a rollercoaster of confidence in some things and self-doubt in others after having kids. #stayclassymama

  6. May 11, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    I’m so sorry your job got so toxic! I’m glad your going freelance because you’ve gathered so much experience since you started your blog. Look how far you’ve come…and Just after having a baby! You’ll do amazing! You’re a natural communicator!!

  7. May 11, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Confidence is such a slippery thing, isn’t it? I’ve battled with it all my life too, though it’s definitely improved as I’ve got older I still have many many moments of self-doubt. I think you’re doing great, keep it up!

  8. May 11, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I think it’s so brave that you packed in your day job to have a go at freelancing – it’s something I’ve thought about a lot but never had the cojones to pursue. I know it can be hard to go it alone, but just remember that you’re not alone, really – you have a whole blogging community behind you who believe in you and will support you. Good luck! #stayclassymama

  9. May 11, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Oh lovely you are so right. I know it is the lovely comments that really lift me in the moments of self doubt and oh yes I DEFINITELY do have them too. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  10. May 11, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    I’m having a big self doubt week this week – my stats are a bit rubbish, my tots ranking dropped for the first time in months, and I’m not feeling too creative lately…
    I guess that happens from time to time and you just have to ride the wave and wait for it to pass. I’m glad I’m not alone, and given that I don’t have hardly any child free time I should probably cut myself some slack…
    Thanks for reminding me we are all in this together..
    And thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

  11. May 11, 2017 / 11:06 pm

    Right there with you! I literally feel like this on a weekly basis! But you are doing such an amazing job, and I know so many (myself included) who love reading your blog! Aside from the fact that I am in total awe of the sheer courage it has taken for you to make this leap! High five mama! #stayclassymama

  12. May 12, 2017 / 8:58 am

    Oh no, so sorry to hear that work got toxic. I think we all go through self doubt. Going freelance is amazing for you because you are amazing. Xx

  13. May 13, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    I think collecting all those tweets and social media comments from others on how great they think you are really does help. #coolmumclub

    • May 18, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Now stopping back via #DreamTeam

  14. May 15, 2017 / 9:16 am

    Great post, I am regularly crippled with self-doubt! Good to know I’m not the only one #postsfromtheheart

  15. Good for you! Self-doubt is definitely par for the course in this game. I halved my hours at work in order to give this blogging thing a go and have had that nagging self-doubt ever since. But what I also seem to have developed is a steely determination to make it work. You’ve got this! #postsfromtheheart

  16. May 16, 2017 / 7:09 am

    If anyone shouldn’t doubt themselves it’s you – you are amazing! Sadly we are all affected by self doubt but darling please remind yourself that you are killing this writing malarkey! Love you! xx #dreamteam

  17. May 16, 2017 / 7:17 am

    Back again for Dream Team. Go Bridie! #DREAMTEAM

  18. May 16, 2017 / 8:24 am

    I know how you feel! After working in the high pressure corporate world for nearly 20 years, it was a big adjustment to stay at home and start something solo. I found that putting a measurable structure in place helped me to overcome the self doubt and I could track my progress and successes. It gave me a clear view of how I am progressing. Good luck #dreamteam

  19. May 16, 2017 / 8:24 am

    Great post – yes it’s so easy to focus on the days when you go blank, or the odd negative comment you get, and forget all the lovely ones and positive reactions! I think we’re all in the same boat but thankfully part of a very supportive blogging community! #DreamTeam

  20. May 16, 2017 / 9:32 am

    Bridget I pretty much have this exact post sitting in my drafts!! So glad that it’s not just me that feels this way! But as I said to you when you left your job, I have every confidence that you will be a huge success as a freelancer! Keep smiling lovely! xxx #DreamTeam

  21. May 16, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Great post, it is so hard I struggle every day it feels like! But remember why you started xx #DreamTeam

  22. May 16, 2017 / 10:07 am

    I think we all suffer from self doubt, it is normal. I tend to do it quite often and by doing that I am making myself feel bad and unhappy, when in truth I am just being me, plodding along on this family, blogging, lifestyle journey and in no way should I doubt myself for doing that. 🙂 x

    #dreamteam

  23. May 16, 2017 / 10:10 am

    I know how you feel! We all feel like frauds but we’re all doing our best and our best is amazing! Good luck with the new blogging adventure 🙂

  24. rainbowsaretoobeautiful
    May 16, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Yeah, the awards thing makes me feel a bit weird, I feel unknown and weird nominating myself. And think, what’s the point, no one else will nominate me right? I guess its a bit of pride about who you are and in yourself. And that takes a bit of work and realisation sometimes. PS. I’ve definitely forgotten the rain cover! We’ve just left the buggy days I think. It’s taken nine years…….phew!

  25. May 16, 2017 / 11:24 am

    I too have those same doubts and am still not able to go solo and hope that I can make it. Self doubt has become enemy number one and I need to slay that dragon. I’d love to get votes for the BiBs2017 as a fresh voice too… but I can’t even bring up the courage to put the badge on my blog, nevermind ask for votes. So I’ll vote for you. Hope you win. #dreamteam

  26. diynige
    May 16, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I constantly suffer from self doubt and writing a blog help me change a little and occasionally people say nice things about something I haven’t written and it inspires me fab post and good luck with awards thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  27. May 16, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    I think we all have self-doubt at various times in our lives, but putting them aside and just going for it is always best. Let’s face it, what’s the worst that can happen and better to have tried than not. You are a fabulous writer, you’ll do just fine #DreamTeam x

  28. May 16, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    Good for you!! Good luck. Be bold and be brave and you will totally rock it! #DreamTeam

  29. May 16, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    You’re obviously doing something right if you’ve been able to give up you’re day job! Just keep doing what you’re doing (I love your honesty and openness) and if you feel like you’re doubting yourself again, then maybe look back over all you’re achievements to date to give you a bit of a boost and to tell yourself ‘YOU GOT THIS!’ Good luck on you’re new adventure, I’m sure you’ll do amazingly #DreamTeam

  30. May 16, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Brilliant post. Even established in my career I feel it. I have an eBook on Imposter Syndrome which I really must bump up my To Do list. I always find myself assuming other people know more than me, are better than me. Sure there are some people who are but in reality we all have strengths and weaknesses. I love your blog and your photos (and the fact you are brave enough to let your toddler roam far enough away to catch the shots. Mine is prone to suddenly bolting so I helicopter a lot closer – haha!). I am confident you’ll make a great job of your new career and I wish you LOADS of luck. I’ll certainly be there reading 🙂 #DreamTeam

  31. May 16, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Urrrgh I totally have this self-doubt thing too. I keep trying to “fake it till I make it”, but I feel totally under-confident about my faking too! Haha. My brother just seems to be able to blag any situation, whereas I overthink everything and always assume I must be doing it wrong (whatever ‘it’ is). I think you’re doing a very brave thing, though, and I really wish you well #dreamteam

  32. May 16, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I’m happy to vote for you! I love your writing! Whenever I feel doubt creeping in I remind myself of that quote that whatever someone else thinks of me is none of my business! Good for you for going for it!!! #dreamteam

    • May 16, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Aw thank you so much lovely! Oh that’s such a good one to remember too 🙂 xx

  33. May 16, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Self-doubt sucks!!! It’s always hanging around even when you feel more confident. Becoming a freelancer is really tough. I know we’re in privileged positions to be able to give it a go but it brings a lot of emotions with it. I usually have a freelancer wobbly every Monday morning! So I totally get where you’re coming from.
    And yes so glad you’re going for the BiB!!! I love your photography and why not when you put in all that hard work.
    Well you know where I am if you every want to swap self-doubt moans and groans!!! 😉
    Xx Sunita #dreamteam

  34. May 16, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    bring hoe full time is a different kind of busy isnt it?

    #dreamteam

  35. May 16, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Oh self doubt! It utterly sucks. You are so not alone … I’d love to go freelance but self-doubt stops me from even attempting it! I need to find my cojones too! Good luck with the BiB award! x #DreamTeam

  36. May 16, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    If you can give up your day job then that’s a massive achievement and this blog is a window to you, so reflect in that and take a moment to celebrate. #DreamTeam

  37. Mom Of Two Little Girls
    May 16, 2017 / 8:11 pm

    You are a brilliant blogger. Remember that you have more experience than a lot of us, and we look up to you. Your blog is great and you’ve done amazingly well! You are an inspiration to others. You deserve your nomination. I wish you all the best with your freelancing!
    #dreamteam

  38. May 16, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Sorry to hear the job was toxic, but its better to get out of it sooner than later and I’m glad you did! Good luck with the freelance work and nominations! #DreamTeam

  39. May 16, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    People ask me more and more often about whether I have thought about going down the freelance route. I guess it’s natural progression! But I feel just like you have described! I don’t feel I have the confidence yet to take the leap, I’m a little scared that it will all go wrong and I’ll end up jobless and penniless. When really maybe I should dig deep for that self confidence thing and have a little more faith in myself? After all, we haven’t ended up where we are by being rubbish! I’ve said it before – I think you will ace this. I have every faith in you and I can’t wait to watch it happen. You’re awesome – believe it! xx #DreamTeam

  40. May 16, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Just popping back from #DreamTeam to say once again what an amazing thing I think you’re doing, and that I genuinely believe you’re going to smash it!!!

  41. May 16, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    I’m full of self doubt but one thing I do to help get over it is to keep old emails or comments that say ‘well done’ or ‘this is fab’ etc.
    Remember you’re great and you’ve got this!
    #dreamteam

  42. May 16, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    Awww good luck lovely, you’ll be great im sure of it! It must have been such a relief to finally call it a day on the day job and follow the dream of doing it for yourself. I wish I had the cojones to do it myself! Emily x

  43. May 17, 2017 / 12:04 am

    Brilliant. I do a lot of acting and teaching drama and I think us creatives are constantly doubting ourselves( I have a post sitting in my drafts called ‘sod off doubt I’m not in the mood’ I just haven’t been brave enough to publish it yet!)
    It may sound a bit corny but I found a really effective way of keeping myself from going down the plug hole was this: take a beautiful little book that you keep beside your bed. Every time someone writes or gives you a lovely compliment, write it in your book with their name next to it.

    Whenever those feelings of doubt arise, take the book out and read every single one ( looking at your stuff you’re soon going to have a book full !) it helps you to remember how wonderful you are and why it’s all worth it. Hope this helps!
    Liz x
    #dreamteam

  44. May 17, 2017 / 7:42 am

    Self is doubt is tough, but also quite normal I think – and the positive comments and niceties from others are worth remembering, celebrating and holding on to even. Good luck with this new work journey of yours! #DreamTeam

  45. May 17, 2017 / 8:26 am

    Oh don’t have self doubt! Yours was one of the first blogs I found that I liked and connected with! I didn’t realise that you were a fresh face blogger! So there you go….you have a fan. Can I be like you? Lol #dreamteam

  46. May 17, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Back from #stayclassymama, you are totally rocking it! Be brave, voted for you : )

  47. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    May 17, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    Brave move leaving your job. I have done that a couple of times with no work to go to and it is scary, but at least you have your blog and your family to keep you busy! I am full of self doubts and never believe the nice things people say. I focus on what my kids think of me, that is the only thing that really matters #dreamteam

  48. Something About Baby
    May 17, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    I think this is a really natural thing to go through when you’ve had a big change in your life. I am constantly wondering what I can do to make a change and make myself happier, so you’ve done the worst part in actually taking that step and leaving your job! The confidence will come and the self-doubt will go, as you realise what a fab blogger you are! As I’ve always said, I’ve can’t believe you haven’t been around forever, because of the confidence you have when you write. It’s ok to have a bit of self-doubt, but you know deep down you have that confidence to put yourself out there! #DreamTeam

  49. talkingmums1
    May 17, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I’m feeling the self doubt too, I just keep reminding myself why I started blogging. It can be really tough being a one man band. Keep going and keep up the fab work x
    #DreamTeam

  50. May 17, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    I can relate, my confidence is low due to having autism so therefore dealt everything, it is horrible but hope you feel better soon once the routine has adapted X #dreamteam

  51. May 17, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Self-doubt, insecurity and self-bashing are my favourite things to indulge in after chocolate so this resonated with me A LOT. I think you’re amazing for quitting a dead end job and I think you’re fantastic at what you do here on Bridie by The Sea and you will own it as a career in no time. Leave the self doubt to me. And the chocolate too please 🙂 x #dreamteam

  52. May 17, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    Oh I can’t believe where that time has gone from when you went back to work. I remember the chaos well, lovely and it really is just that – chaos. I really do wish you well with all the awards season – and as you say all those wonderful comments and tweets are well deserved and a reminder of why you’re doing this xx #DreamTeam

  53. May 17, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    You’re not alone with the self doubt – in fact I stopped blogging for a while because of it. But keep at it, your honest, witty and creative posts are what you enjoy doing – so enjoy it! and forget the self doubt…or at least put it in a box for a while 🙂 x #Postsfromtheheart

  54. mommyhomemanager
    May 17, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Congratulations and best wishes as you leave your day job! Being alone is tough…you don’t have anyone but yourself to appreciate and cheerlead for you. You will have to work on doing that for yourself!
    I hope that you learn to love it.

  55. May 18, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Well done for making a brave decision!!
    We put so much pressure on ourselves sometimes i’ts easy to succumb to self doubt! Good Luck #DreamTeam

  56. May 18, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    You’ve got my vote lovely. It amazes me that you have any self doubt at all as to me you seem to be spinning all the plates so perfectly. I still can’t believe that you’ve only been blogging just over a year. You have achieved such an incredible amount in that time and the blogging world is your oyster. I have everything crossed for you – but to me you are already nailing it! x #DreamTeam

  57. May 18, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    If the 62 comments before mine don’t do it for you, then nothing will. Go for it! Great post.

  58. May 18, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Well done you for going it alone! That’s the dream for me – but I know exactly what you mean about self confidence #dreamteam

  59. May 18, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    I hope it is going well for you Bridget, you’ll have to keep us posted! #dreamteam

  60. May 19, 2017 / 6:59 am

    My life is all about spinning plates at the moment. Never mind for getting the rain cover last week I forgot to put the bloody wheels on! My MIL was not happy when she picked the little on up at lunch time #dreamteam

  61. May 19, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Of course you have our vote Bridget! You always have done. I can imagine it being really odd going from full out hectic mode, to still and quietness. If anyone can do it, it’s got to be you. #DreamTeam xx

  62. May 20, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    You are incredible lady and don’t you forget it. You are o le of the people I always think of as being ‘A Real Blogger’. You can do this, simply because you are you. #PostsFromTheHeart

  63. May 21, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I would love to offer you some advice sweetheart but unfortunately im one who needs it too. what are we like xx
    #dreamteam

  64. May 22, 2017 / 9:52 am

    First of all, you have no reason to feel self doubt, you are amazing!! And secondly, we all feel it, even the most confident of people have those moments too. It was such a pleasure to meet you this weekend, you are so lovely, don’t ever forget that!! #dreamteam

  65. May 22, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Dont ever doubt yourself, you’re a brilliant blogger and one that deserves everything that is in your success freelancing career! you can do this lovely!!! #dreamteam

  66. May 22, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    Such a huge step. Don’t doubt yourself as you are an amazing blogger #dreamteam

  67. May 22, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    Wow! Congrats, and being nervous is normal! Embrace and know that it is your body’s way of telling you things are different. Show that beautiful girl of yours that your are made of tough stuff, and that #strongwomen rule! You will! I see it and believe it! #dreamteam <3

  68. Layla
    July 23, 2017 / 8:49 am

    For starters I’d say don’t build your self worth on pointless blogging awards. I mean seriously, they are completely meaningless. The only people getting anything from these awards are Brit Mums themselves. They’re coining it in on the back of other bloggers success can’t you see that? The whole process is nothing but a back patting exercise. Your self worth comes from within lovely. Not from nonsense awards.

    • July 23, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Thank you for reading and for your comment lovely. The post really wasn’t about the Britmums awards though, but about dealing with feeling of self doubt. I think you’ve missed the point!

  69. January 19, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Excellent advice to always focus on the positives and forget the negatives!

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