Starting Over

Pauses, Self-doubt, and Self-Awareness

“If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?”

You’ve heard different versions of this. You’ve listened to why it’s important to visualize and how this can unlock your hidden potential and expand your self-image. In fact, it may even be the key to finding your unique gifts.

Is it though?

The problem with consuming a lot of self-help — like a lot of anything — is that you become a junkie. You are always looking for that next hit, that 30 second just do it, that conference your hero attended in Thailand and spoke to someone who just happened to be in your age range and posed your exact issue!

I am a junkie. Or at least, I think I was. I decided to go cold turkey and see what would happen.

Good news, I didn’t die.

I found myself in this space where I thought I had learned a lot about myself, about what I wanted and what direction I needed to take.

I just had a job, making more money in the past month than I had made in the past year. I also registered for college to study a subject I am actually interested in. I even got promoted (twice!). This all happened so fast, that for some reason, my brain started sending not-so-subtle cues that I wasn’t doing enough — in my creative life.

You see, no matter how much ‘success’ I get in ‘the real world’, if I am not creating, I feel like a waste of cells. It’s just who I have realized I am.

But when I sit down to create, I compare myself with who I could be and it stops my motion.

Amazing, innit?

I used to think social media bothered me because I compared myself with others, but I really don’t. So, I could do anything in the world — be anyone — I would be me, and I would create.

But what does that mean? And why did I have to leave the internet for almost two months to figure it out?

I don’t have an answer to that. What I know, however, is that this period where I weaned myself from consuming mindlessly and actually seeking answers to questions I had — this period was uber fruitful.

I finished a course on Skillshare. Beta tested another course by a mentor. I was interviewed for an Ad. I met with yet another one of my digital heroes. I got a car; drove myself to and back from work each day ( which meant less Uber money! Yay!).

I actually did a lot.

The self-doubt in my creative ventures — that one that plunged me into the darkness of myself was a necessary dip to move forward.

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Photo by Cris Ovalle on Unsplash

When I made the video to describe how I felt about my YouTube channel, I did not know how much of the answers I was looking for were in the video. In the end, I didn’t even need the break I thought I needed.

I took it anyway.

I got to read, think, sleep, plan and figure out the general direction I want to move towards. I use the phrase ‘general direction’ because no one knows the future.

Self-doubt comes when we try to predict the future. When we refuse to focus on what’s in our control and move with acceptance, knowing that no matter where the chips fall, we just have to be grateful they fell.

And that’s it.

All we are assured of is our work.

Now, more than ever, I feel that self-doubt might be the way to self-awareness. That when you fear losing something — or someone — it is an opportunity to discover who you are.

If you fear nothing, you may have arrived at the top of this journey ( Oh, please write a book so I can consume your drug).

I will be taking more pauses in the future. But not like this; not removing myself from the playground I dream of building my very own sandcastle.

I want to create for a living and leaving the internet isn’t exactly a smart move in my books.

If you don’t know where to go from here…

If you don’t know whether you’re moving in the right direction…

If you think you need a break to future things out…

Take it. Let the doubt sink. Feel your body and your gut. Feel your self.

No one has it figured out. No book can tell you what to do.

But if you drink a little from everywhere and come to the conclusion that you might need to make your own drink, do it.

We all need our drugs. And the most powerful of them all is life.

I sincerely hope you overdose on it.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t. 2020 will be fun. Trust me, I know the future. lol.

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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