By: Beatriz Craven, Guest Blogger
My husband and I were sitting across from one another over dinner at a nice restaurant. It can be tough for us to get good quality time in during the work week so I was really grateful for this treat and intentional time together. It’s been an interesting adventure but we’ve gotten to the point where we can both officially state that we are small business owners. We reflected on our experiences thus far over buttered rolls (he started his real estate investment company about 2 years and I started my private practice for psychotherapy about 2 weeks ago). One of the more interesting reactions we’ve experienced is people’s awe that we’re making it happen. It wasn’t really a reaction we were expecting. We were hearing things along the lines of “this takes such courage”, “I wish I could do that,” or “how are you doing all this?” The first answer that pops into my mind is “doubt less, do more.” It wasn’t an answer that I came to on my own.
I recalled this incredibly motivating video of Ira Glass on the creative process. I found it so illuminating, honest, and normalizing. Basically, the idea is that we all start out pretty no-so-great at what we do when we’re moving toward our aspirations. There’s a gap between where we are and where we want to be and we’re insightful enough to be able to look at our work and say, “uhh… this kind of stinks.” You’re just starting out, it probably does. We are so comparative by nature. We look across that gap where our mentors/role models are and we get disappointed. So much so that for many of us, we don’t narrow the gap by continuing to chisel away at our craft.
What Ira doesn’t talk about is what that gap does to us emotionally; what it is that paralyzes us and keeps us from striving. I believe that thing is called shame. We doubt ourselves and we don’t want to be seen in that vulnerable space labeled “outside of our comfort zone.” If we venture into that space we might fail or prove that harsh critic in the back of our mind that says, “see? I told you. You can’t do this. You’re not good enough.”
When I can feel my own little feelings of inadequacy start to creep up I remind myself of this video. I think of the gap and I make my commitment then and there to doubt less and do more. The more I keep doing, the more practice I’ll get and the better I’ll become. If you want to grow, it’s going to be uncomfortable and you’re not going to do it right 100% of the time. My husband and I are both in complete agreement that if we aren’t spotting failure among our successes, that means we’re playing it safe. We don’t lack doubt and insecurities. We just choose to not let them hold us back from the life that we want. Doubting less and doing more has worked for us so far.
I’m curious to see how far we can take our lives if we can keep our eyes on where we are today and where we want to go. I guess we’ll find out one step, blunder, and redo at a time. What I know for sure is that whatever the outcome is, we’re going to be doing it with everything we have. We’re going to be all-in on this thing called life and that sounds like a win in itself to me.
Let's Chat! What do you think of Beatriz's story? Are you doubting yourself more or less these days? Share your thoughts here!
Dr. Craven is basically obsessed with her job as a psychologist in Houston, TX. She has an insatiable curiosity about the human condition and the meaning of life. She is the boss lady of Modern Therapy, PLLC, her private practice for individuals experiencing life distress such as anxiety, depression, and existential concerns (i.e. who the heck am
I and why am I here?). She is a dreamer, goal-setter, and supporter of her fellow gal.