Laborious Day

by MW Cook

var addthis_pub=”4a0af351783743a8″; Have you ever thought about what it really means to believe in yourself? I’ve never been able to understand it. Is it acknowledging that you exist? Or, more likely, trusting yourself to be good and sufficient and all that jazz? I guess it must be that.

But what a suicidal thought! I tell you the truth, I don’t believe in myself. And I’m glad of that.

Some ridiculously good friends and I are trying to help each other out. And it’s working great. It’s working great because when they think what I do sucks, they tell me so. And since I don’t really believe in myself I actually listen to them. When I read a scathing review of something I wrote my first reaction is, honestly, happiness. Seriously. We’re working together to improve what skills we have. We’re not going to do that by stroking each others’ egos. We’re not going to do it by believing that whatever we do is good in the name of confidence. We’re going to do it through honest, merciless criticism (and the occasional encouraging observation).

The trouble with the application of the believe-in-yourself way of thinking is that if you believe in yourself too much or in the wrong way you will disbelieve anything that goes against you. Someone will say ‘such and such a sentence is awkward’ and you will reply ‘no, I have confidence that this sentence expresses myself perfectly and therefore I’ll never betray my faith in Self by changing it.’ And so you’ll live your life in full, unwavering belief in yourself, you’ll keep on producing whatever it is you produce, always producing it in the same way. You’ll be convinced of your own superiority, and you’ll be alone in that belief.

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