This is an uncomfortable topic for me and I’m sure for many others. There have been many instances in my life where self-doubt has crept in and made me feel less than. It’s happened in school, in college, in work, in life.
Sometimes I’ll be so happy and confident about something and then self-doubt comes in and is like “well, it probably won’t work out, stupid.” There’s no proof that it wouldn’t work out, but that tiny little seed of doubt seems to embed itself and take over my mind.
When I went to San Jose State University, I experienced “Imposter Syndrome” for the first time. As I walked around campus, looking for classes, I felt like someone was going to point me and expose my fraud. Fraud? Oh, you know, me being the first person in my family to go to college. The fact that I had no idea what I was doing or why I wanted to be there.
Now, my current doubts revolve around my ability as a writer. I have spent so much time wondering how I can move forward – especially when the doubt traps me and keep me hostage for days, weeks, months, years.
I think I’m afraid of taking risks. Risks for me have always been scary. OK, duh, risks are scary for everyone, but taking risks is a whole other type of scary when you don’t really have anything to fall back on. Don’t get me wrong, I have family in my life, but they’re not my parents.
They have no real obligation to me and I have always been afraid of feeling like a burden to people. I never wanted to have to rely on people. And relying on people is definitely different from asking for help now and then. But, if I failed, what would I do?
According to the National Foster Youth Institute, more than 23,000 children will age out of the US foster care system every year. Other statistics include:
- After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.
- Only 1 out of every 2 foster kids who age out of the system will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.
- There is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life.
Now, my life has always been complicated and I’m not using it as an excuse, but rather, I want to use it as evidence of how much foster kids and poor kids struggle.
And this brings me back to self-doubt. Or insecurity. Hesitation. Fear.
I’m afraid that if I fail, I won’t be able to make it. I doubt myself because I am afraid of all the things that could get out of control or not going the way I expected them too.
My goal now is to figure out the things I have self-doubt about and work on overcoming it. In all honesty, that’s all you really can do. I need to remind myself that I am an adult now and this is MY LIFE. I am perfectly are capable of making the best decisions and I don’t have to seek approval from anyone.
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