There is often a sly voice in the back of my mind that tells me I’m not good enough. It’s ridiculous to listen to it, even worse to believe it, yet it still rattles around in my thoughts. Good enough for what? I ask it, and though there is no reply I sometimes let it seep into my life.
This world can be an awfully competitive place. If you’re not a success (whatever that means), then it can feel as though you are a disgrace. Sometimes I feel particularly hampered by growing up with the internet. In the age of instant online validation, you can end up defining yourself by the number of likes or followers. It’s toxic in more ways than one, and incredibly hard to move away from.
I’m new to blogging. I currently only have four posts on DJChronicle. My blog’s Instagram is only a month old. Every rational bone in my body tells me that these things take time to grow. My heart tells me that I write about history and books for fun and for myself. That little voice tells me that since I’m not an instant hit (and who is these days?), I shouldn’t bother. I’d only fail anyway.
Even outside my blog, this is something that has plagued me. Exams would make me freeze. Sure, the teachers would say I’m fine and know what I’m doing, but I was always convinced that the opposite was true. It usually took the actual results slip for me to realise that, really, I was doing okay. Now I’m at university, the feeling persists. I speak in my seminars, mainly because I hate awkward silences, but halfway along the sentence, I doubt myself.
It has taken me a little while to realise this pattern, and even longer to think about how to halt it in its tracks. Like I said before, I blog for fun, not for followers (although they would be nice). I go to university to study what I enjoy. And the voice calls me a failure anyway. It’s here where I try to stop it. I’m not a multi-millionaire influencer, or a professor. I’m me. Myself. It’s impossible for anyone to fail at being who they are.
I sometimes pretend that I’m my own audience. If I enjoy the blog post I’ve written, or the photo I’ve shared, then it is successful. Someone’s enjoyed it, and that someone is the most important person in your life. I’m not a failure, because I’m doing what I want to. This doesn’t always silence the voice, but it quietens it. Of course, the usual hints apply: get off your phone, put some music on, and relax, but I think it’s important to try and face your doubts.
We are good enough. We’re not failures. The voice doesn’t define us; only we do. I can only keep doing what I’m doing, same as you. And doing that, even with all these little doubtful thoughts? It’s pretty damn successful if you ask me.