On The Topic of Inspiration and Self-Doubt

I have been on an overseas holiday the last little while. I would call it “traveling” but I think there’s a few more people out there who lend more legitimacy to that descriptor than I do. I was humbled to be a special guest at a very special event and from there I continued on my own driving around a foreign land. I’m staying in hostels for the most part and I have mixed feelings about the experience. Its been five years since I last traveled alone in a foreign place. I won’t say it is harder than it used to be, it isn’t, but I have to admit that I like it less than I used to. A lot less. I still find the value of travel in confronting my known assumptions but then again, I put myself into those situations at home and challenge what I thought I knew as a matter of course. That part of the trip has been my favourite. Well, in some ways yes and in some ways no.

My absolute favourite thing about the trip has been meeting a group of new people who inspired the hell out of me. This isn’t a common phenomenon but it is one of the few that I am already to identify and savour. I was lucky enough to meet a handful of hands-down excellent people at this event and its had two really opposite effects. All of my memories are that of being immediately accepted into a close-knit group of people. Being accepted like that and how special that made me feel will sit in my heart forever. The other effect as I got to know this group and some individuals in particular, was I realised that they weren’t average people. The innate intelligence, care and kindness that permeated this group was a breeding ground for a kind of wealth and success that I’ve only seen come similarly out of nowhere in circles where being an arsehole opportunist was the predominant trait. This didn’t make sense to me at all. In the days that followed as I reflected on what I had experienced my wide-eyed inspiration had given way to a sinking feeling.

A sinking feeling that I am not smart enough, not well-connected enough, not good enough to realise my impossible dreams.

I know you aren’t supposed to compare yourself to others as you’re trying to carve your own path, but you have to take inspiration from somewhere, right? So what do you do if that glimmering sword of inspiration blackens into a dagger of self-doubt? I’ve come a long way and it’s hard to hear others tell me I’ve reached the zenith in life and in work yet where I want to be is still only on the horizon.

Without being too self-referential, I’m trying to provide solutions rather than give unanswered problems with this blog-form writing exercise, but some shit I just don’t know about. I’m trying to figure it out, though.

 

3 thoughts on “On The Topic of Inspiration and Self-Doubt

  1. Being instantly accepted is, at this stage of life, a rare occurrence. I am so thrilled that you experienced this on your travels. The fact that it was amongst a kind, intelligent and caring group of people surprises me not at all.

    Regarding your self-doubt… could it be that experiencing this acceptance from a group of highly inspirational people made you realise exactly how much you want your dreams, and that acceptance? That kind of social stimulation?

    If so – if you’re anything like me – the very instant that my brain recognises hope and excitement, I’m done for. Hope makes me vulnerable to my own brain, and the self-sabotaging thoughts instantly commence.

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    • A hole in one. I love what I have but seeing how a fabric this strong can help build a person into their dream self is exactly what I’ve always wanted. It just has to happen by divinity and can’t be made. It can only be maintained.

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  2. You’ve got me thinking of where I’d be personally if the childhood trauma hadn’t affected me in the way that it did.

    Would you and I have built a fabric that strong in our lives if we hadn’t responded to our pain in the way that we did?

    Probably.

    But then, if I hadn’t been a broken wreck of a human being, I’d never have met you, and it’s the threads you’ve woven into my life that have seen me through some of my most precarious moments.

    We weave our own fabrics. Strand by strand, patch by patch. At first, we do it by accident. We do it with people who like the same colours as us, then bands, then boys… until we grow up, and go looking for strands, with purpose.

    You might feel like your own fabric is a little threadbare, but every decision you make, every move you don’t… they make that custom design that is just *you*. It’s cliche, I know – but cliche’s exist because they’re truths.

    Maybe look for the worn patches, the thin spots, the parts you’ve scrubbed and scrubbed… and work out whether they’re salvageable. I know at one point that I was one of those spots. I’m forever grateful that you chose not to unpick me forever x

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