How Self-Doubt Immobilized Me From Pursuing My Passion

My little sister once told me that doubts kill more dreams more than failure ever could.

I remember how I used to be a pretty confident kid before I started college. I was the type of person who loved performing on stage, singing in front of the whole school, and dancing as if I knew how to. Growing up, my friends and family hyped me up and gave me the boost that I needed to do new things.

You see, I was a very sheltered kid. I studied at a Catholic school all my life and my mom closely raised me (almost) entirely on her own. But as I entered college, I became exposed to a world that was bigger than me. There were people who wouldn’t think twice about humiliating or hurting me. And other times, I would realize that I wasn’t as good as I made myself out to be.

That’s when my doubts started to take over my life.

I lost my friends at the end of freshmen year because they realized that my personality didn’t quite fit theirs. I couldn’t keep up with my academics because I was overwhelmed with the amount of freedom I finally had in my life. Everything started going downhill – and so did my self-esteem.

It came to a point when I would hide from my professors during recitation in fear of saying the wrong answer, I doubted if my writing was good enough for journalism, and I had stopped singing because my voice wasn’t as powerful as I had thought. Honestly, until now, I still struggle with the same insecurities.

Because of all these thoughts imbibed in my head, I felt immobilized. Like I couldn’t do anything right because my doubts had so many negative introspections.

I gave up my aspirations and my passion, purely because I thought I wasn’t good enough.

In my second year of college, I had a professor that took recitations very seriously. He was intimidating, wise, and frankly terrifying. I skipped his classes despite wanting to learn from him because I was afraid that he would call me and I would say the wrong thing. Finally, a good friend noticed that I was avoiding his class and forced me to stay. We had a paper to turn in and I was so sure that he would call me because he had noticed my absence a week prior.

I heard him call my last name and I sank lower into my seat. He wanted me to read my thought piece in front of the whole class and I was too shy to share such a personal thing in front of the people I had to see every day.

As I spoke, I felt judging eyes on me as I read my piece nervously, the paper I was holding trembling in my hands. When I finished reading my essay, everyone fell silent. I couldn’t tell what was going on in my professor’s mind – his deadpan eyes enough to make me return to my seat in shame. Did I get the assignment wrong? Did I misunderstand the lesson? 

Then he started lecturing the class about self-doubt. How often times, we underestimate the power of our mind and the influence of our voice. He looked at me and told me to speak up more, how he would like to hear about my ideas in class.

Honestly, I’m still working on getting back my confidence up to this day.

But I don’t want to feel entrapped by my worries when there are so many opportunities out there ready for me. I want to be able to face a challenge with a brave face on and say: I can do it.

For #FlawesomeFriday, I want to shed light on the biggest flaw I have which is self-doubt. I genuinely wish for those who are struggling to be able to believe in yourself and do things no matter how hard or embarrassing it may seem. And if at the end of the day, things still didn’t go the way you wanted it to be, just give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to try.