I will find myself sitting on the edge of possibility feeling uncertain about which choice to make and where that decision will lead me. Not just personally, but I’m paid to oversee a multitude of choices that impact all aspects of a production and to make the best decision possible while fulfilling a variety of peoples needs with diverse agendas. Combine that with a highly technical environment that I may or may not even understand and the atmosphere is fertile for a generous helping of self-doubt.
“Do you know what you are doing?” asks the annoying roommate in my head. “Have you ever done this before? What qualifications do you have to make this possible? What makes you think you’re good enough to make this happen?”
Well welcome to the world of totally normal! Self-doubt is a common and ordinary part of any one’s experience. The bummer is that it tends to demand your attention, make you feel uncomfortable, and if you succumb to it, limits a greater discovery of who you are and what you are capable of. Pretty annoying since as a producer doubt shows up regularly as each project presents its unique set of requirements, challenges, and opportunities. A lot like life!
But my Spidey sense told me there might be a yummy sweet center inside the turmoil and uncomfortable feelings that self doubt bring. What if it could serve a purpose and have something to offer me and possibly be a source of energy that I can harness?
As I looked for what I could learn from self-doubt I touched on some treasures that I wanted to share:
It’s Alarming: Consider self-doubt as a great first warning system that something new is approaching. Instead of recoiling into fear I imagine it more like the sound of trumpeters announcing the arrival of something fresh and exciting. Be an explorer and break out the binoculars. Travel to the edge of your creativity and see what’s there waiting for you.
Give up the gavel: Try not to judge your starting point. Even if you are struggling you can make a step forward. And despite all the odds and failures along the way, if its something you really want, you will give it your all. There are no regrets in doing the best you can.
Don’t believe everything you think: Set the intention to notice the limiting thoughts that swirl around daily in your head and at the same time, keep an open mind to consider another thought or perspective that could take its place. This takes practice! But the first step is becoming aware of the voice in your head feeding you ideas about yourself that are just not true and the moment where another choice is available. Change the self-talk and change your life.
Get a Boost: Remember the first time you got behind the wheel of a car, jumped in a pool, or kissed someone? All of these were firsts and, more than likely, caused you a bit of nervousness and self doubt. Spend your time around people who believe in you, make a list of your successes and keep it in your pocket, give yourself permission to try and try again. Progress, not perfection, and sometimes, (as in the case of kissing for example) the practice can be quite wonderful too!
See you on set,