Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I am my own worst enemy (IWSG)



Hello friends. How are you today? I am so happy and grateful to be co-hosting IWSG today with my awesome co-hosts, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken and Heather Gardner. Whoop! Whoop!

I am without a doubt my own worst enemy. I often find myself having a tedious internal battle with what I want and what my doubt monster thinks I'm capable of. You can’t do it. What do you know? These are only a few of the things I constantly say to myself. Why? Because I demand a lot of myself. Only the best efforts will do. I put myself down even before I’ve tried something new. It’s become a rather bad habit actually.

Of course the question is now that I know I do it and why I do it, what am I going to do about it? Well, I am so tired of caring what others think. Yes, I’m unfortunately also a terrible people pleaser. Every person and especially every writer is different. We can’t all follow the same processes. We definitely can't all write the same. Just think how boring it would be.

So, because my internal critic will never be silenced (she’s mean at times), I can’t still allow others views of myself to influence me. I have to do the best I can with who I am (control freak). I have to work on myself and my confidence with regards to writing. At the end of the day I need to believe in myself and what I can do. Others may doubt me, but I am not allowed to doubt myself.  I have to start saying "I can do this," and "Why not me?".

I'm insecure and I rather like that about myself. It reminds me that I'm human. As long as I can manage that doubt monster and not allow others comments to encourage it, I will be much happier and much more productive.

How about you? Do you pick on yourself too?

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

104 comments :

  1. Hi Murees - you know and that's the main thing ... make some lists re your writing and tick off those and just keep moving forward .. trying new things - never give up - take a photo ... write a note, write a note - find a photo to take ... expand and use that power house of a brain you have ... take care - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. Trying new things are scary, but you are right.

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  2. I admire your honesty, Murees. That's such an attribute and you don't allow your insecurities to bog you down, which is great! Keep up the good work; keep facing those fears head on; keep being you!! You are fab and such an inspiration. Thank you for your continued support. Success is yours to take a hold of so grab it with two hands!!

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    1. Thank you, Nicola. You are awesome.

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  3. I think it's great that you won't allow your insecurities to hold you back. At the school I used to work at, we did a lot of work about 'fixed mindset' and 'growth mindset' - a fixed mindset is where you tell yourself that you can't do something and that's that, whereas with a growth mindset, you tell yourself, 'I can't do this yet' and you keep trying. It really opened my eyes to the fact that I've had a fixed mindset for years, but now I make a conscious effort to have a growth mindset instead. I think a lot of writers have fixed mindsets, when we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves - we can do it, we just need to believe in ourselves :)!

    Thanks for co-hosting this month :)!

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    1. You are so right, Rachel. Thank you for the encouragement. I definitely need to change my mindset.

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  4. I SOOO relate. I used to be so concerned with what others thought, I'd forget to consider what mattered to me (okay, I still do). Once you recognize the problem . . . knowing is half the battle (my favorite GI Joe quote!). Thanks for hosting Murees!! And, by the way, you're awesome!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! I think you are awesome too.

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  5. I used to pick on myself all the time, until a very dear friend told me to be a gentle friend to myself. That hit me and I saw that I was harder on me than I was with other people. Since then, I have been learning to be a gentle friend to myself.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia


    http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/06/iwsg-june-2016-recovery-is-not-matter.html

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    1. That is a great lesson. Thank you, Pat. I've been trying to be a good friend to myself too.

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  6. I read your post and comments with great interest as I am a people pleaser, too. This week I recognized a internal sullen spoiled brat dominating my thoughts. She didn't want to vacuum, go shopping, even write. I did a bit of self-talk and decided to shift her attention. I showed her the birds outside and invited her to watch them.

    I was quite surprised to discover this worked. I'm not saying I'm cured, but I do have a strategy to redirect this thumb sucking child's attention and return to my sorta normal self.

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    1. That is great, Lynn. That gives me hope. I have to learn how to handle my doubt monster. Thank you.

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  7. I used to be a big people pleaser, too. I still am, but, I've learned I can also say no to people, and do what feels right for me and my family.

    I believe many writer's tend to be their own worst critics. Sometimes it doesn't appear that way because we hide our insecurities. This is a great group to let it all out.

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    1. Very true, Cathrina. I used to hide so much from others. But this group has really helped me.

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  8. The doubt monster and I are old friends and I completely understand about the battle you wage with yourself. I like your attitude and determination. I'm working on mine as I'm taking a step into a new venture that I feel will be both rewarding and satisfying on so many levels, but scares me just the same.

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    1. Thank you. I wish you the best of luck with your new venture. I hope your doubt monster behaves itself and allows you to enjoy the new venture.

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  9. Thanks for co-hosting today!
    Just battle yourself and don't worry about others. Sounds like that's already more than enough. Every time you hear yourself say something like that, just stop, no matter where you are, and say with a smile 'Yes I can!' Bet that changes some things.

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    1. It's my pleasure, Alex. Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

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  10. Yep, I beat myself up all the time. It's a good idea to put some tape over the mouth of that critic from time to time and just try to do your best. When I'm feeling down I try to focus on my accomplishments and say "See? Ha, you're not so smart after all, stupid voice!"

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    1. Thank you. I like your approach. I've accomplished so much, I should be focusing on that.

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  11. I hear you! I remind myself - often! - of a quote I heard ages ago that goes something like this - "What other people think of me is none of my business." :)

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    1. I like that! Thank you for sharing it with me.

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  12. Every time someone tells me I can't do something, I have to do it, just to prove them wrong. Don't get in my face because it's really on then! :)
    It's a curse. LOL
    Look at it as a challenge and have fun - I dare you!

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    1. Thank you, Yolanda. You're feisty, I like it!

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  13. What living, breathing woman doesn't pick on themselves? We just need to stop that. We're too good for that, know what I mean?

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  14. I could have written your post. LOL Yeah, insecure and my own worst enemy. Tromping on the attitude works. Sometimes. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  15. It's easy to doubt ourselves and our abilities, but fun to prove we can do whatever we're wondering about. We just need to go ahead and do it. If it doesn't turn out the way we'd hoped at first, try again. Never give up.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Thank you, Beverly. You are welcome. You said it. Never give up.

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  16. My inner voice can be harsh as well. Sometimes you've got to tell it to hush up and keep on, keepin' on. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  17. Thanks for co-hosting, Muree! I understand what you mean. I am my worst enemy too. I think things about myself that no other person would. It's this love-hate relationship that leaves me feeling exhausted. When it's good it's great, but ...

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    1. You are very welcome. I know, it is so exhausting continuously fighting with ones self. A full-time job practically:) Thank you Joylene.

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  18. It's so easy to get down on yourself, especially if things aren't going well. Reciting that positive mantra — I can do this. I am good enough. — can be a game-changer. Just keep saying it and beat down those negative thoughts. Don't worry about what others think. You can do it. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG!

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    1. Thank you, Lori. You are welcome. I enjoy co-hosting.

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  19. Thank you for sharing your doubt monsters today. I do pick on myself. My mom tells me all the time how hard I am on myself. My current doubt monster is fear too, and failing at this latest version of my manuacript. I think I am working on building up my level of patience when it comes to my dreams. I don't have much. Lol. But thank goodness for my trusted critique partner. She keeps saying I want my very best work out there and it will be ready at some point. I just have to breathe. Good luck to you and be kind to yourself :)

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    1. Thank you, Erika. I know you will publish soon. You deserve it.

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  20. Your inner dialogue sounds a lot like mine. The best I've learned to do is catch those negative voices in the moment and tell them to go away. And yes, be kind to yourself, as Erika said.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I will beat that doubt monster one of these days.

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  21. You said it so well. I doubt myself all the time. Lately it has been for writing too slow.

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    1. I used to think I write too slow to. But every novel is different and certain ones just take longer than others. So don't feel bad about that. Good-luck.

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  22. Great post. I feel like you're speaking directly to me. I'm going to have to read this daily for the next month.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad I could help. Good-luck to you.

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  23. I am my own worst critic. I definitely pick on myself way too much, although a little doubt is healthy. Ironically, one day when I was trying to pick myself up with a little self-pep-talk (foolishly in a public restroom), I did it out loud and someone who heard me thought I was being super-arrogant . . . um, well, maybe it sounded like it, but I was really just trying to pick myself up off the floor.
    So, here's wishing you an awesome summer, and some great self-pep-talks without any audience. :)

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    1. Thank you, Tyrean. You are very kind. Who cares what that person thought? Do whatever you have to to get you through. I would've been the weirdo who cheered you on:)

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  24. I'm a horrible critic of my own work. Know you are not alone! It's good to hear you're taking steps to ignore the mean girl in your head and keep on plugging!

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    1. Thank you, Loni. It's nice to know I'm not alone. The mean girl in me has to go.

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  25. Yes, like you, I am mhy own worst enemy too. Self doubt rears its ugly head and it's a struggle to beat it down. Just keep beating it down, girl.

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    1. Thank you, JQ. I will do that. She needs a good beating;)

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  26. Oh yeah I'm like this too! I constantly try and please others and often little old me gets lost in the middle somewhere! BUT I am trying to change that. I am learning to believe in myself and what I am capable of achieving. Best of luck, Murees. And thank you for being a great co-host today.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. You are wonderful.

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  27. I'm a people pleaser too. I kind of hint at that in my post for the day. If I schedule a day to write, I'll opt out if someone asks me to do something because I'm afraid to let them down if I deny. I even allow other family members who are quick to point out that writing is silly, affect me at times.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. I know what you mean Jeffrey. I also leave my writing to help family members. And I also tend to listen when they tell me writing is silly. I hope you don't listen.

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  28. Wow, I can totally relate to your title! I really should tell myself to shut-up more often. You know what? I'm wrong, and so are you. You can do! Find something that reminds you of a past success, a memory that you know you fought for. Drink it in.

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    1. Thank you, S.A. I have to remember the good more often. Thanks for reminding me.

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  29. It's good to know your enemy's. That gives you insight to their weaknesses and their strategies to try and defeat you. I say attack and never look back! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  30. Oh, I get it. I'm ruthless with myself sometimes. I just have to keep reminding myself that writing is a never-ending process of learning and growth. Besides, I can't stop. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. You are welcome. You are right, it is about growing and learning. I need to learn to chill a bit;)

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  31. Trying to balance your expectations with those of others is hard enough. It's even worse when your muse is telling you you'll fail. All you can do is just hang in there and keep going. You'll keep growing as a writer, so even if you're not quite there yet, you will be there eventually. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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    1. Thank you Ken. I'm ignoring my muse today and hanging in there:)

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  32. Thanks for co-hosting! I had to smile at the 'I'm my worst enemy' because it's SO true. It makes writing hard (almost impossible at times), but, I think, it's a necessary evil. For without that doubt and self-editing, we couldn't write well either.

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    1. Very true. She makes me work harder and go over my manuscript again and again to make sure my work is good.

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  33. Sounds like the little voice in my head. Always nitpicking and saying 'it can't be done'. Fortunately, I'm too stubborn to give up. =D

    Thanks for cohosting.

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    1. Yah, you! Show that little voice who's the boss.

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  34. I pick on myself terribly. I expect a lot of myself, and can really beat myself up when I'm not perfect (which, of course, I never am.) The best we can do is try to acknowledge when we've made progress. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. It's my pleasure:) I also expect a lot of myself. But I'm also prone to laziness, so sometimes my inner critic must jump in:)

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  35. Oh my, you must have been channeling me. I think your self-advise is wise. We don't need to try to please others when we are so busy beating ourselves up! Write on! Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Exactly. I'm already mean to myself, I don't need other people piping in. Sometimes there can be many. Good-luck with your writing as well.

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  36. Sure ti happens like when I spent the better part of the three-day holiday weekend trying to self-learn Adobe InDesign. Argghhh! Frustrating and wondering why I'm not picking it up.

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    1. Yes! I drove myself crazy with converting my book to an e-book. My inner critic loved that:) Hope you figured Adobe InDesign out.

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  37. I pick on myself sometimes, but not too badly... I appreciate my successes, too. But if I really mess something up, then yeah :)

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    1. Good for you. I hope to get there one day.

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  38. We all have moments of self-doubts. The trick is to go on despite them. Believing in yourself is the key.

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    1. You are so right, Olga. I'm learning, slowly, but surely.

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  39. I pick on myself all the time; that's why I'm neurotic. But I think it's okay to be insecure; if anything, it can motivate us to accomplish more or to strive for more. I've known people who were convinced that they already knew everything or that they were "perfect"; as a result, they didn't work hard and didn't accomplish half as much as they could have.

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    1. You make me feel proud to be insecure. If the insecurity will make me better, then yes, I will take it:)

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  40. yup, your title alone summarizes exactly what happens for every writer... once we defeat ourselves we're good to go :-)

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    1. Here's to us defeating our mean inner selves. We can do it.

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  41. Oh yes, let go of caring what others think - it's so freeing. But so hard to do. However, since you're your harshest critic, do let in the positive support you get from others. Those people might see you more clearly than you see yourself.

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    1. True. Sometimes I do get compliments, but I don't believe them because of my mean inner critic.

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  42. LOL, I'm part of that club too. It is a good thing I know I don't know what I'm talking about more than half the time, so I can file that opinion and choose something I like better. Heh, works sometimes or a mantra of I don't care I don't care I don't care

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. I think I need to use your mantra. I need more of a 'I don't care' attitude.

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  43. I'm my own worst enemy too when it comes to writing. Not in quite the same way as you. In my case it's not getting on with writing, even when I want to and have no reason not to, I manage to distract myself.

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    1. I do that too. I hate cleaning the house, but certain days I would rather do that than write. I even offered to scrub the shower once. The muse makes me crazy:)

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  44. Do not get me started on my internal critic. SO I can sympathize with your. Why can't we have an internal cheerleader instead?

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    1. Agreed. A cheerleader would be so much more helpful:)

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  45. I used to be the queen of poor self esteem. Things changed when I started seeing how good I was at certain things. Very good. That notion began to build because others started to notice my strengths when I 'showed up' for leadership roles. The roller coaster began. My ego is firmly in check. There are things I'm lousy at and always will be. I can't sing a note and have issues with managing my finances, just to name two. However, I'm feeling pretty good about who I am and what I've accomplished. If I can do that, everyone can. I recall a phrase along the lines that we do not know just how powerful we really are. Blessings.

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    1. Thank you, Feather. That is very nice of you to say. I admire you. I really want to get to a point in my life where I can like myself more. Just when I think I do, I disappoint myself. I'm working on me now though:)

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  46. Someone might have given you this advice already, but you have so many comments, I'm not going to read them all.

    You need to treat yourself (and speak to yourself) like you'd speak to your best friend. You'd encourage her, make her feel good, point out the things she does well, and you'd always give her some slack if she was struggling. Do the same for yourself, because you are just as important!

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    1. Thank you, Annalisa. I haven't tried that yet. But I will.

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  47. I pick on myself a lot, but I'm getting better at ignoring me. Still, when I make a mistake I pretty much stop speaking to myself altogether- which is probably a good thing. Less talking more writing. ;) Thanks for sharing and co-hosting.

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    1. Thank you. That is definitely a good thing. I should ignore myself more often:)

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  48. Most definitely. I am my own worst critic. The trick is to move on and produce despite that. You've realized that. You can do anything you set your mind to do. And do it in your own unique way. Yay, you!

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  49. I could have written this post myself! I would never talk to others the way I constantly talk to myself in my own head. I've managed to tame that voice a little but she still rears her ugly head too often.
    You have the right solution though. Here's to silencing the doubt monster and anyone who encourages her. :)

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  50. Thanks for co-hosting this month Muree! I can understand about being your own worst enemy. Second guessing myself is a bad habit I have. It keeps me from knowing where myself, my story and characters are coming or going. Until I don’t know what to do in order to move forward. I’m glad you’re facing your bad habit head on and trying to overcome it. Yes, you can do this! Yes, why not you?!

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  51. I can't stand having self-doubt! When it comes to editing, I wish I could view my own work as objectively as I can edit others' stuff, without that voice in my head that goes "wow, this sucks. These characters are such dorks. Look at all this flat dialogue. How am I ever going to fix this?!" There should be an off button for such spiralling thoughts!

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    1. I agree with you, Deniz. An off, or even an edit button would be great. I know I would use it all the time:)

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  52. Hey Murees!
    I made it here - finally!

    I also tend to pick on myself when it comes to my writing. I'm really hard on myself.
    Yes, I'll always have that insecurity niggling away inside, but I'm trying to be more accepting of my creativity...it's a growth process...and also tell myself that it's okay to make mistakes. We're human, after all.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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    1. Hey Michelle. No worries. You are so right. We are only human. You are amazing. Tell that mean inner voice to take a hike:)

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