Sunday Edition #24: My Column in Yellow
For the longest time, I felt confident in the art I am creating. But recently, I’ve begun to feel inadequate. I look around at what others are doing and feel so far behind in my craft. People tell me what I’m doing is good however, I don’t believe them anymore. I question the sincerity behind their compliments. Why have I suddenly lost my confidence?
Two things come to mind when I read your submission: Fear and Ego.
In my opinion, self worth is something we all struggle with whether we are willing to admit it or not. Raise your hand if you have ever wondered if you were worthy of love, deserving of what you have or want, or simply good enough. My hand is raised… I’m sure yours is too.
About a year ago, I invited my friend, Jennie Willoughby to an event where I was asked to perform spoken word. When I finished, she looked at me with pure excitement and said, “You are so close to stepping fully into your power. I can’t wait to see it.” Her words sent a shiver of terror through my body. I didn’t understand why at the time, but looking back I see it more clearly.
My fear isn’t about not being good enough, it is a fear of owning that I AM good enough.
If we embrace what we are truly capable of and accept the power within ourselves, it means we need to rise up and become fully visible to everyone. With that comes the fear of being disliked, attacked, criticized and judged. Being “small” means we can’t be seen. It means no one will feel a need to push down what we’ve worked so hard to build up.
Small feels safe.
This is where the Ego comes in. We mistakenly think our Ego is only what makes a person act like they are better than everyone else… Full of themself… Looking down on others… But, it is really more than that. It is that voice ever chatting in our heads and most of the time, it is telling us all the reasons why we suck and should stop trying. Those who act bigger and better, more than likely feel smaller and insecure, but puff up their chests as a way to hide how they really feel.
The Ego can feel like an overprotective parent trying to keep us from getting hurt. It feeds us worse case scenarios to help us avoid coming face-to-face with pain, suffering or what we fear… failure or even success.
I bet you were confident until people started to really take notice of your work. Once you realize people are looking, you start to worry about what they see. You grab the mirror to check if your clothes are wrinkled or something is between your teeth when before it didn’t matter.
You started your art for a reason. Something within you needed to be expressed and shown to the world. You felt the fire of purpose. Anytime you begin to question yourself, go back to that. Remember why you started and how it made you feel when you did. Stay true to yourself. The inner voice causing you to doubt yourself may never fade but take the words it tells you as insincere and not the ones from people who are building you up towards the power you’ve had within yourself all along.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.