Now, that may sound like something very easy to give up, but I have to tell you that it's not. Self-doubt is like wrapping yourself up in a security blanket as you think to yourself, “Whatever people have to say to me is nowhere near as bad as what I say to myself.” You're basically beating critics to the punch by saying, “Oh, I know this is shit and that I'm shit.” Well, like any other destructive habit, the more you indulge yourself in it, the more it's going to hurt yourself.
So for Lent last year, I reminded myself over and over that I was giving up self-doubt. It was like denying myself chocolate (or, in my case, chocolate and peanut butter), where I was tempted over and over to just be down on myself. But each time I refused to partake in that “fun” little exercise, I felt myself instead occupying my time with learning why I made certain mistakes and making sure not to make them again. After that, I felt my work improve, which improved my self-esteem and reduced the opportunities for self-doubt.
In the past few months, I've felt that self-doubt work its way back in, and with that came the other half of the two-headed monster that I deal with every day: procrastination. As the self-doubt lingers, the urge to procrastinate gets bigger and bigger, and this week, I decided that enough was enough. I had to do something about this. I had to slay the two-headed monster that's taken up residency in my head.
Therefore, in honor of Ash Wednesday, I have decided to give up both procrastination and self-doubt for Lent. I have way too much on my plate – rewrites for “From Parts Unknown,” recording of the “Excelsior” audiobook, writing “Ever Upward: Part Two of The Excelsior Journey,” the new weekly newsletter, etc. - and if I do away with procrastination, I'll get some of it done during this 40-day period. That feeling of accomplishment will then stifle the urge to give myself grief; it will give me what I need to kill this two-headed monster once and for all!
So what are YOU giving up for Lent?