In my 35 years of running a media company, consulting with start-ups and working with artists, nothing I’ve ever seen can take down a legend or stall the progress of a promising career faster than self-doubt.
Self-doubt causes CEO’s of multi-billion dollar corps to have sweaty, sleepless nights and forces remarkable, groundbreaking artists to toss in the towel—or at least become so frustrated, confused, unfocused and uncertain that absolutely nothing worthwhile gets accomplished.
Self-doubt’s prey of choice is artists & treps because we’re the ones who play on the skinny branches of life; bravely attempting new ideas, laying our reputation on the line, problem-solving on the spot and making precarious, risky, unproven career choices every day.
However, to the degree that we are ruthlessly and ridiculously, crazy committed to doing the work that needs to be done, completing those projects that need to be completed, and taking on new, worthwhile projects that further our interests and bring us joy, to that degree the demon of doubt retreats into hiding like the rat he is!
My definition of a ruthless, ridiculous, crazy commitment: finally arriving at that clear, cocky, confident place where you no longer allow the pettiness of others, the immaturity of ego or the damaging effects of self-doubt to distract you from achieving your goals and dreams.
Important because if you doubt what I’m saying, listen closely to the words of the great poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as he whispers his wisdom to us from the grave: “Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.”