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  • Writer's pictureTWIYA

How to overcome self-doubt

Photo by StP@, Copyright No Idol Music Group, LLC.

We were encouraged by Barney & Friends, Sesame Street, and a plethora of other shows to be whatever we want to be. Throughout childhood, they inspired us to follow our dreams and our hearts.

I often wonder why as we neared adulthood, we start to hear the opposite.

The same people who echoed our favorite shows in our youth start telling us we are impractical, unrealistic, and to get our heads out of the clouds.

The stereotype of the starving artist fuels many people’s anxieties about becoming full-time creatives. But artists and musicians regularly make the Forbes lists and are generally well-paid members of society.

Society implies that we have a few years to prove our talent before we’re expected to give that up and join the workforce. I have struggled with wondering if I am good enough for the privilege of following my dreams.

Don't Waste Your Time

The biggest lie told is that we are too old to follow our dreams. The illusion of time keeps people working for others for decades, thinking they will finally have time to live their lives in a retirement that may never come. Most of us don't have the luxury of full-time dream chasing. We have bills to pay and children to raise, and quitting our day jobs seems unrealistic. I understand that.


If you think you can wait until you've saved enough money, fixed your credit, raised your kids, and completed a million other things before you take the time to pursue your dream, you will probably never do it.

The gap between the poor and the rich is only growing. Kids grow up, but they always need your support. Credit scores fluctuate. At the end of the day, those things are always going to be there and you have to prioritize your personal goals the same way you do those things.

Take for example my post about Octavia Butler's magical notebook. I mentioned how she manifested her dreams by writing them and then working intentionally toward them. She would get up at the crack of dawn and write every day, even though she had to work hard days and do all of the other things the rest of us have to do. If you want to make it happen, you have to find the time and do it with no excuses. Find a way to do it, and get it done.

Worry About Yourself

One of the main reasons we doubt is because we compare ourselves to others.

Models think someone younger, thinner, and conventionally prettier would just outshine them so why try? Singers hear someone hit a J-Hud worthy note and spend the rest of the evening wondering why they should sing.

The thing is— you are meant to be you, not the next J-Hud. I am TWIYA, no one else is or will be. If I don't do me, no one else will. Do I have the range of Mariah, the body of Beyonce, the perfect tone of Jhene? I do not. I have my own voice and my own words and that's all anyone has. The difference between me and those artists is they committed to themselves and what they wanted to put out into the world and they did it.

Art is made by an artist and what makes it special is when it carries the wholehearted, authentic energy of the individual.

Trust in Yourself

Trust is based on actions and accountability. We doubt because we don't trust ourselves to do what we need to do to reach our goal. When you trust someone you know they will do what they said they'll do.

I wasn't being reliable. I was selling myself short at every turn because my deepest fear was showing up, giving it my best shot, and then failing. I was crippled by the idea that my best would not be good enough and I didn't want to deal with that feeling of failure. I realized that I had to commit and respect myself enough not to break that commitment. I replaced my self-doubt with self-trust. And as a result, I’m feeling far more confident in my abilities as an artist and my decision to commit to my dreams.

You are the only person who can sing that specific song with that specific emotion, write from your particular perspective, and what you were placed on this earth to produce won’t get made unless you do it. What is there to doubt?

As long as you're doing you, no one else is going to do it better.

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