Silence Self - Doubt
By: Ashtyn Stann | Temecula, CA
When I was first asked to share a story with In Her Shoes, my initial reaction – after feeling flattered and excited – was doubt. Do I have anything worthwhile to share? What could I say that someone else couldn’t or that everyone doesn’t already know? What if I do write something and it’s horrible? As these thoughts and questions played in a loop in my head, I began to wonder if I had made a mistake accepting this opportunity. Despite my love for the organization and its message, I wondered if I would be better off keeping my words and thoughts to myself.
"This doubt has been a constant companion of mine in nearly everything I have done."
This doubt has been a constant companion of mine in nearly everything I have done. Whetherit was something as small as talking to someone new or something as large as applying for my dream job, this fear has tried to hold me back from putting myself out there. It’s sometimes hard to imagine that out of all the other people contributing their voice, energy, and passion to the world that mine would make a difference or matter. But where would we be if everyone thought this way?
Having thought about this idea while writing this story, I’ve come to realize that the only way to make a difference or accomplish anything is to try, even if it doesn’t lead where you want it. No one can get anywhere in life without putting themselves out there and trying for something. Yes, there’s always a chance that your effort will lead to rejection but what’s worse than that is not trying at all and never giving yourself the opportunity to find out if you can do it (whatever it is).
"Inevitably, someone isn't going to like it. But, to me, those things are worth the risk if it means I'm able to share my voice..."
Something that I’ve been trying to accomplish for years is writing and publishing a novel. This is a dream of mine, one that has led to plenty of doubt and fear. Publishing a book is not an easy task to achieve – there’s a chance to fail at every step of the way, whether it’s while you’re writing, editing, or pitching to agents. Not only that, but it’s terrifying to share something that comes from your mind and heart with the rest of the world. Inevitably, someone isn’t going to like it. But, to me, those things are worth the risk if it means I’m able to share my voice and my stories with other people.
Even though self-doubt tried to dissuade me from sharing this story, I’ve decided to stop letting it hold me back from opportunities like this one or from pursuing the things I love. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s so essential to not sell yourself short. If you’re afraid to chase your dreams or say what’s on your mind, it likely means that those things are worth doing or saying. Embrace your voice and don’t hesitate to share it and yourself with the rest of the world. Be confident that you can accomplish anything as long as you try.
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