Once upon a time, I lost all the belief I had in myself and my creative abilities, and I stopped painting. I was 18 years old and had almost finished my college course. My college art tutor had advised me in a chat about my future, that my hoped for career path in the arts was potentially a pretty bad choice and that she couldn't see it working out...to go home and think of something else to study perhaps...and I remember I left that tiny, messy room in the art block feeling my self confidence trickle away. My self belief zoomed to an all time low.
And because I chose to listen to that person, and believe them, I stopped making art. Just like that.
I understand how crushing it can feel to be told you're no good. It's similarly crushing when you cultivate these feelings yourself, when you are afraid to try something new for fear that you won't be any good at it.
We listen to the voices, perhaps they are in our minds, or they surround us in real life - a helpful friend or family member who is dismissive of your excitement at trying a new project, or envious of your talent...or perhaps it's a whisper from within telling you it's pointless to start because, well, what's the point it's only going to be awful.
I have spent many years overcoming such hurdles, I have met with those inner whispers and paid heed, missing out on many opportunites to enjoy myself and engage in something creative. I have also met with real life people who possibly meant well, but who have inadvertently helped my self belief to dissolve.
These voices, within us and around us tell us: it will cost too much, it won't work out, how do you know it will be any good? You're not going to be any good at that.
The problems start when we believe them.
Like me. I believed what a tutor once told me, and it took years for me to rebuild my self belief and have confidence in my abilities again.
If there is anything you have ever wanted to try - just go ahead and do it. Promise me you will ignore the nay-sayers, the wicked whispers who quietly tell you its a waste of time, the helpful relative who doesn't think it's really for you. Take small steps, starting now, towards making your dreams real. The truth is, this life of ours is so precious, we really don't have time to waste believing that 'we can't'.
What kind of thing have you always wanted to do? Think of the first small thing you can do that will set the wheels in motion, and keep on doing that until you are there.
Buy the paints, find the notebook and writing pen, book the SUP class, join a gardening club...whatever it is you want to do, let nothing stop you from enjoying your life and filling it with the things that make you smile and feel happy.