S2Episode23 Self Doubt Is Universal

February 21, 2024

Good morning from Milano. I woke up yesterday morning and one of my first thoughts is the exact same one I have pretty much every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those are the days, of course, that Dear Constance episodes drop. One of the first things I think is what is today’s episode about? Given that I record and publish the episodes well in advance of the actual day of the drop, I have to think about it. Like, what is it?

Monday’s episode was originally entitled circling is empowerment, connection and perspective or something like that. As I lay in bed, I thought to myself, Oh my Lord, Constance, you’re so serious all the time. And if I’m honest, something that I’ve promised to myself that I will always be on this podcast, if I am honest, I went down a rabbit hole of self doubt. That record is full of greatest hits, among them you’re too earnest, lighten it up, you’re too serious. I think you get the drift.

Here’s the thing I record in the morning which is when I have a heightened state of awareness and quiet, and naturally I gravitate to topics which are self-reflective, spiritual and contemplative in nature. And those who know me know that I can be silly, superficial, spontaneous, and that one of the things I value most is total mindlessness. So yeah, I’m not always serious. Like everybody else, my life is simply a tapestry, and the weave is rich and varied. woven with many different threads, some silly, some serious, some spiritual.

Anyway, as I was on that negative thread, I remembered something that I heard on Rick Rubin’s book ‘The Creative Act’. His book is one I often reference because I love that the chapters speak about so many things that are universal. In it, he talks a lot about artists. He uses the word artist very broadly. When he talks about art, he means anything that is creative. Art is anything that you bring yourself to do. Writing, the spoken word, music, cooking, poetry, anything.

Importantly, he considers the way we lead our life as a creative act that can take many forms. As such, we are all artisans. We are all designing and crafting our lives. Some of us are to a greater or lesser degree focused on different aspects or different avenues of artistry. This is something that took me decades to understand. And actually, that idea is a bit of a regret of mine because I never took myself seriously.

In fact, I remember one day when I went to therapy the therapist said something to me that really stopped me in my tracks. She said You’re not taking yourself seriously, Constance. You’re not valuing and respecting your own creative process. Her comment and observation was real cause for pause. It served as a turning point for me and I started taking this idea of Dear Constance more seriously.

Anyway I digress, and I want to go back to Rick Rubin’s book, The Creative Act. I remembered there was a chapter called Self Doubt and I went back and listened to it. A very important distinction is made regarding self-doubt. He said, it’s one thing to doubt yourself and quite another thing to doubt your work.

Doubting your work would sound something like that’s not good. I can do better. I don’t think that’s good enough. On the other side, doubting yourself is I can’t get anything right. I’m incapable of singing. I’m incapable of writing a good song or recording a good podcast or whatever it is. They’re very different doubting yourself and doubting your work. Doubting your work can actually push you to greater heights, to reach for excellence. while doubting yourself lands much differently in your nervous system.

Given that self-doubt is universal, nobody gets to escape some moment, some area or time or place in their life when self-doubt creeps in. I really like that distinction between doubting yourself and doubting your work. They’re very different. Oftentimes when we doubt our work, it’s vulnerability. It’s a moment of vulnerability and when we’re doing something that we care about, vulnerability is part of what gives our work its unique flavor. It’s the very thing that gives our work its own stamp.

Anyway, back to the story. In my moment of self-doubt, I went back to listen to the episode. I liked it, I’m happy to say. I not only renamed it ‘it’s hard to be a good person’ but I also made an important note to self that when self-doubt creeps in, it’s important that I make the distinction and think about whether I’m doubting myself. or doubting my work. Two very different things. T

To close, I’m going to give you a gift and it’s called this. Welcome to Heidi. If you don’t know her, WelcometoHeidi on Instagram is absolutely fabulous. Her work is a great illustration of this idea that we can make art out of anything. Our life is a tapestry. The weave we choose – the color, the texture, the pattern, how we share it, and whether we want to be loud or quiet –  is ours to decide.  I think it’s fair to say that both Heidi and I choose to live our lives out loud.

That’s all for today until next time from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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