It has been a while. How are you?
The last blog I wrote was about fourteen days ago. I missed writing, curating, and engaging. I had been slaking off. I can't find the fuel to ignite the grit to push toward my goals. The passion was not burning well and was slowly dying. As much as I love to write, my body and mind aren't cooperating. Everything seemed off, with stress and anxiety pulling more strings to make it more off the road. When my self-doubt is too high, it kills my creativity.
My year started on the wrong foot. Everything became too uncertain. I was on track to finish my graduate studies in the first quarter until the typhoon happened. I am now too delayed with my research. I felt everything falling apart. I lost my research notes, and my hard drive was unrecoverable. I had copies in my google drive, but some are missing. It was my mistake not to scan my research diary and upload it online. I kept telling myself that everything happened for a good reason, but self-doubt slowly kicked in.
I have been stressed and almost at burnout again. I was to have a quick trip out of the city, but I didn't. The car broke a day before the trip. Instead of using the money for the trip, I used it to fix the car. Out of town trip halted. To make things more undesirable, hay fever and sinus allergies pestering me for straight two weeks. It was supposed to be a fun escape but turned out ugly. I was hanging by a hairline before I burnout. A mix of stress and allergies cast more anxiety and self-doubt. I felt everything I do fall apart. It makes things worst. I can't find any reason that things will turn out to be good.
Self-doubt greeted me like an old friend. It was not a strange feeling since I felt it before after college. When I finished college, a lot of realization sank in. After pushing myself too much to keep the scholarship, I vowed to give myself a breather. I tried out something different for the first time. After I took licensure and passed, I decided to skip a year or two before joining the nine-to-five work. I tried freelancing to earn a bit at that time. My sibling was still at school, and I am thankful that my parent never forced me to find a job. As much as I wanted to help them, I think it was the right thing to do, give myself a breather.
But when it the time to start job hunting, self-doubt consumed me. It is not due to my inability to get hired but to meet personal expectations. I either turned down offers or tried it for a week to a month. While my friends were excited to join design and construction firms and start their practice, I felt it was not for me. My first job was as a project engineer and eventually quite a couple of months after. The work reminds me of how toxic my routine was before. Overtime doesn't help, and my passion for design works faded. I doubted my choice, whether it was the best fit.
I felt the same way in the last couple of weeks. Everything falls apart, self-doubt afloat. It isn't about work but more about life in general. I am at a point where I make decisions that will matter most in the next five years. I became too unbothered and accepted everything, but I still have a sense of regret and disappointment for the things I never chose. I have that all what-ifs. I felt that what I was doing was not good enough. It's been circling me a lot lately, like a vulture. It occasionally springs a leak. It finally broke the dam a couple of days ago, especially when my allergies pesters the most. But, at the very least, I know what caused it.
With its never-ending responsibilities, life may be monotonous and challenging. We all deserve a pat on our back, no matter where we are in life. Self-doubt would never be pleasant. We continually scrutinize our acts and evaluate the outcomes, much like an awful boss. I came to realize why so harsh on ourselves. They taught us to be nice to others, but it should be better if we are nice to ourselves. We allow ourselves to make mistakes and gain the confidence lost to self-doubt.
I am a self-aware person, and for that reason, I often overthink things and eventually worry. Worry is something we create rather than something that occurs to us. I guess I worry too much about how awful things turn out these days, resulting in high self-doubts. I always think, and somehow it causes a lot of tension and stress, especially with anxiety kicking in. Self-doubt is an annoyance that will not go away with a single swat, especially if we are too aware of it. It's something I'll have to live with for the foreseeable future. But I keep dismissing it. I'll be able to transform the self-doubt into one that supports me rather than runs me down.
Self-doubt may not be as bad as we thought it was. Self-doubt is self-awareness, allowing us to see what we aren't better at and what we need to do to become better. Self-doubt helps us. Everyone experiences self-doubt to a different degree. Some of us allow self-doubt to paralyze us. Others embrace it to drive us to move forward. Self-doubt enables us to survive at times of upheaval and pushes us harder, making us more resilient. When self-doubt brings us on the correct path, our fear of making mistakes is okay. It is a bit cliche to say, but I would love to say it: it is okay to not be okay at times.
I have said too much already. I hope that everyone is all doing well and winning silent battles. Remember, we don't need to be so hard on ourselves.
All featured digital illustration appearing in the blog is created by the author.