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?
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/