Reasonable Doubt vs. Unreasonable Expectations

I’ve spoken before about how we are our own critics, idealizing our work and finding disappointment when we can’t meet perfection. In that “failure” we find hopelessness and doubt.

Doubt is Art’s Ex-Boyfriend

Doubt is a vicious thing.

It takes what we know to be true: a fact, for example, and distorts it.

It reduces us to second-guessing. It reduces us to skeptics and cynics, instead of experts and geniuses.

What about a talent or a passion; something arbitrary that we feel strong about that cannot be proven by data or charts?

Doubt is indiscriminate.

It twists our plans inside of us, making them unrecognizable and worthless.

When doubt is an ingredient in the soufflé of creation, it will be the antithesis of light and delicious.

So, how do you beat doubt?

By knowing!

The strongest counter to doubt is to set realistic expectations, and be honest with yourself about what those expectations are. I’d love to blog once a day and complete all of the site redesigns I’ve talked about, culminating with a huge East Coast Launch Party aka my Birthday Party, but while writing for other websites, launching a small media firm, developing and writing my own content, responding to mail, proofreading and editing a full-length novel, attending Northeastern University and trying to have a social life–it seems almost impossible.

I recognize that there are things I can do to stabilize my time, so that I will, one day have a schedule, but as for right now I cannot.

What you can do is set small expectations that are feasible to accomplish and enjoy the feeling of a minor victory every so often when you do.

Above all else, if you’re a pessimist like me and you must doubt at all, doubt that anyone is doing exactly what you’re doing right now.

Doubt that you’re in the wrong line of work.
Doubt that people won’t love what you’re doing.

But don’t doubt yourself!

How do you guys cope with doubt or other kinds of uncertainty? When does it pop up most?


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