As an author, I get to meet with students and share my journey of how I went from being a struggling young reader to published author. One of the things I talk about is self-doubt. Young or old, self-doubt deceives you into thinking it will protect you from the hurt of rejection. What it’s really doing is holding you back, tying you down, keeping you from moving in the direction you want to go. It keeps you from dreaming because it’s safer to lie low where no risk is involved. It’s the voice in the back of your head that tells you not to bother trying out for that team, that part in the school play or that job. After all, there’s somebody else who can do those things better than you can and you’ll only end up embarrassing yourself. It’s the voice that sometimes asks: “Just who do you think you are anyway?”
Well, I’ll tell you. You’re the person who is going to kick self-doubt to the curb. You’re going to start with just one step in the direction you need to go in order to achieve what it is you want. Once that first step is taken, your journey has started. Will you be nervous? Yes, but you have to keep pushing forward. As the actor, Will Smith, once said: “The mastery of self-doubt is the key to success.” And as I say: Don’t allow self-doubt to take your eyes off the prize because if you do, the prize will never be yours.