I see so many people these days wondering if they're good enough, strong enough, or asking themselves if they can do it.
When you're asking yourself if you're good enough, what is it you're referring to? Let's start there and see if maybe your mindset can be altered. Just a little. That's all it'll take.
Am I Good Enough?
If you look at yourself in the mirror and ask this question, you're doing it all wrong. Instead, ask yourself: Am I the person I'm proud to be? Am I meeting my own expectations? If not, how can I change so I love who I am and can look at myself in the mirror, proud of what I see?
Why? Because you're the only one that truly matters. You need to be in love with yourself first. Love stems from respect, too. Have those two things, and you'll come to a place where what other people think of you doesn't matter, and it won't be because you believe yourself to be "above" them. You'll know that you're the absolute best version of yourself that you can be. If they don't understand that, it's really okay. Because you have yourself, and that's the one person that should believe in you no matter what.
If you're a writer, then write for yourself first. I know you're probably going to say that doesn't sell books, and you're right, but if you're in this business to sell a billion copies, you're doing it for the wrong reasons, and you'll end up quitting before you even get started. If you write for yourself first, you're always good enough, because you're the only critic that matters. This question will never be asked by you again. Sure, we want folks to enjoy our writing, and it's okay if that still makes you a little nervous, but don't put so much weight on it that a one star review ruins your whole day and ends up making you question yourself as a writer.
This goes back to: Put out the best version of your book that you can. Give yourself something to be proud of on all levels. If you love it and can stand behind it like you stand behind yourself, you'll be happy whether you sell zero copies or a thousand.
If you don't like something, CHANGE IT.
Am I Strong Enough?
Of course you are. You just have to want it badly enough and not depend on others to bail you out or do it for you (whatever IT may be). When I was in college, I had this amazing professor who changed the way I look at those who give excuses with a simple quote:
"If you want it badly enough, you'll find a way.
If not, you'll find an excuse."
That sums it up. Don't give up on yourself or your dreams. Not ever. If you can't make it happen alone, find someone to help you, but don't begrudge those who don't have the time or resources. Back up and try again. Don't be afraid of failing. In every failure, there's a nugget of golden wisdom you can use to help yourself in the future. Learn from your mistakes, and COVER YOUR OWN ASS beforehand. This, also, is a learned habit.
Yes, you're strong enough if you want to be. Most of all, don't be taken in by the excuses of others. If they wanted it badly enough, they would've made it happen. People will show you this. Be prepared to see, and be strong enough to walk away.
You're strong enough to hold yourself up, but you're not responsible for shouldering the burdens of others.
Can I Do It?
If you devote yourself to it, 100%, with no excuses along the way, you can do anything you put your mind to. Don't take no for an answer. Back up, regroup, and try a different path. Always be willing to morph and bend if you need to, but don't let folks walk all over you, and do NOT try the same thing in the same way and expect a different result. Eisenstein said it best:
If you do the same thing in the same way and expect a different result, that's the definition of insanity.
Don't be insane! Change something! Try again! Don't let anyone use the word can't in your presence. Be an advocate for the things you believe in.
Listen, life is going to throw you some serious curve balls along the way. It'll feed your doubt monster the cookies they love so they grow stronger and whisper louder in your ear, beating you down.
When you have a success, no matter how small it may seem, congratulate yourself. Pat yourself on the back, and be your own biggest cheerleader. Make it a big deal. You made that soup? Well, then, it's the best damned soup that'll ever be made. You learned a new skill or had a new idea? Celebrate that. Even if it's with yourself.
You don't need the validation of others; you only need the validation of the person that's been with you from the moment you were born and will be with you until the day you die: YOU. So, yes, you can do it.
I'm a work in progress, too, but I'm living every day by the words above and have been for years. Doubt creeps in, but learning how to combat it is half the battle, and I'm totally winning the war.
You're responsible for your own happiness, and you're NOT responsible for ANYone else's happiness. You also can't change them; they have to be willing to change themselves. Surround yourself with those that understand this and appreciate it, those upstanding people who are also happy, and be good to them.
The benefits to all these things will be unbelievably amazing.
Work hard, play hard, and find your love for yourself.
Do you ever fight with things like this? Got any nuggets of wisdom to share?
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!