Casting off the Shackles of Self-doubt by Kelly Gilmour

Self-doubt. It’s something that affects how many of us function on a day-to-day basis, yet I find few people who are actually willing to talk about it. It’s something that has held me under its big, unrelenting thumb for most of my life. Sometimes it affects fairly insignificant things (like what I wear, for example), and sometimes it consumes my entire being and holds me back from doing the things that I want to do. I was asked to write an article for The Advocate back in June and it has taken me four months to force myself into doing so. Why? Because no matter how hard I try there is something that continues to tell me that nothing I write could ever be worth publishing. I cannot explain why I feel this way. I’ve had poems published in the past, and Creative Writing teachers suggest that I look into publishing short stories. Yet, anytime I imagine sending this article in and having someone read it, my fingers freeze up and my mind begins drawing blanks.


It’s taken me four months, but I’m doing it. I’m pushing past the fear and frustration of not fully believing in myself. I’m trying to do this in every aspect of my life. It may sound somewhat trivial, but falling in love with oneself is truly a wonderful thing. We no longer feel the need to please anyone but ourselves. We come to the realization that it’s pointless to waste time doing anything but that which we enjoy. Letting things hold us back just makes us feel even worse. What is the point? More often than not, even if we fail we are applauded for putting ourselves out there and sincerely trying. The world is waking up. We’re finally learning that it’s not a bad thing to be a dreamer. Dreamers are the ones who break through the expectations of society and discover something that has been hidden for far too long: true happiness. 


Whether or not we write as well as our favourite authors, paint as well as our favourite artists, or look as good as the people in magazines, we are all unequivocally talented and beautiful. It is only when we realize this that we can open our eyes and see the world as our canvas. So, for anyone who is currently reading this, I ask a favour of you. If you are not already aware of how deeply beautiful, intelligent and absolutely spectacular you are, please live at least one entire day with this on your mind. Do things that you’ve been too afraid to do in the past! Wear things that make you feel confident! Create something solely for the sake of sharing a piece of yourself with the world. Don’t bother worrying over what other people think, and most importantly, find genuine happiness in all things you do, big or small. Be unapologetically yourself.


So, whether you’re lucky enough to already be living your life this way, or whether you’re taking baby steps and awkwardly stumbling down the road of self-love like I am, I raise my glass to you and wish you a wonderful journey. I can finally scratch “write an article for The Advocate” off of the list of things I’ve wanted to accomplish, but have been senselessly waiting for the world’s approval on. I’m glad. In the end, it never really matters what the world thinks anyway.

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