Have you ever met someone and thought, “Well she’s certainly full of herself”? It’s called arrogance. Conversely, have you ever met someone who speaks softly and won’t look you in the eye when they speak? Well, that’s someone who lacks self-confidence.
It’s not pleasant to be around either one of those individuals.
Thankfully, the majority of the people I know who are reading this post fall between those two extremes. And that’s quite alright.
While I enjoy writing, I’m comfortable writing about my experiences, thoughts, and philosophies. I “stay in my lane” and don’t try to write science fiction or teen romance, or horror. I’m comfortable right where I am.
When my father-in-law asked me to help him write his memoir, I was filled with self-doubt.
That’s not my strength. I doubt I can pull it off; I’m not a great writer.
However, my apprehension didn’t prevent me from trying. If I lacked self-confidence, I would have told a man who asked for my help, “I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”
With an overwhelming amount of self-doubt I began. The process became less about my writing confidence and more about helping someone else. You see, my father-in law has never written anything besides a letter. He’s also not looking for Tom Clancy to write his Vietnam War memoir. He needs someone in between the two extremes of novice and expert.
I received an email from him a few days ago. “After reading this chapter, I thought I was back in Vietnam and at war. It was so right on in everything that happened during that time. It is unbelievable to me how accurate it was. You have absolutely missed your calling and should pursue writing. I am thankful and will be forever grateful that you are writing this for me. You can’t know how you have made me feel with this chapter.”
My point in sharing that feedback with you is that our perception of ability (to help someone) is pale in comparison to what others believe in us. Our finished product (fueled by self-doubt) can be considered “great work” by someone else, if we make an honest effort. We don’t have to be professionals or masters.
We just have to care enough to try. If we seek progress, and not perfection then we can be Good Enough to make a difference to our family, friends, coworkers, or strangers.
I bet each one of you reading this has self-doubt for a passion, skill, or talent that you’d like to explore and “put to good use.”
You don’t need anyone’s permission to make an effort toward bringing your dream and desire to fruition. You just need to believe that someone, somewhere, at some time will think you are Good Enough.
I can assure you that the satisfaction of helping someone will remove the dark cloud of doubt, and shower you instead with self-confidence.
So, please be proud of being just Good Enough for someone else. Your community needs what you have to offer!
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.