My worst fears have never come true. Even on my best day when I try to predict what a client may say back to me in feedback or revisions, it's usually pretty far off the mark.
I may absolutely crush a song and know that it sounds amazing, and then as soon as I hit that send button a dam breaks lose and all the self doubt starts to flow. This is a pattern of thinking that I have had to work on in life.
Everyone has self doubt, this is normal. What we do with it is important.
On a recent project I mixed, I felt great about the song. As soon I as I sent it off, I thought, maybe the vocal was too loud. Then I started thinking, maybe the guitars were too soft which is why the vocal feels too loud, then I began to think, well maybe the drums were wrong from the start... and I began to spiral. It's super important to note, that no one is saying this to me. It's all in my head.
Self doubt is easily one of the quickest things we allow to steal our joy.
After slaving away at this project and feeling really great about it, as soon as I sent it away, I began to question it all. This doesn't happen as much anymore, but there are times when it still happens. The client responded, sounds great, can we turn up the bass just a hair.
I laughed at myself. Everything I was doubting, the client didn't mention. The one thing I thought I nailed he wanted a little louder. I made a quick revision, sent it back and we wrapped it within the hour. I say all this because we all carry around this voice of self doubt.
Over the years, I have observed myself spiraling from time to time. Now it's easy to catch and shut down. Sometimes it doesn't even happen. The way I have been able to do this is to truly learn to trust myself and to stay in my lane.
Self doubt goes away the more we trust ourselves.
My mindset when I turn in a project now, is much different. When I hit send, I have a mantra that I say in my head. It goes along the lines of this...."This is a gift, I did the best I could with what was given to me at this time in my life, this project does not define my worth or value as a human". It's not always that, word for word, but it is that idea.
It encompasses letting go, it encompasses that whether the project goes far or no where, that it will not impact me as a human. That I did the best I could at this stage, knowing that in a few years I will probably be "better". I trust myself that it was a gift to even be apart of it and that at the end of the day it was here to teach me something, to learn and grow, and to get better.
When you approach things that way, your self doubt begins to go away. You begin to tell yourself a new story and your mind begins to trust itself.
You begin to turn things in and do things with a confidence that is still and silent. It creates space to know that all our doubts, fears, and worries we tell ourself have probably been conditioned in us from a young age, and that we always have a choice to deal with them, to flip the script.
Staying in your own lane will crush self doubt. Doubling down on what you do best will crush self doubt. Not worrying about someone else's work or appearance of success will crush self doubt.
Trusting that what you do is enough will crush self doubt.
Cutting out toxic people, things, and organizations that shame and guilt you will get rid of self doubt. You always have a choice. Choose you, bet on you, and know that where you are at, the work you do is here to teach you more then make you look great. It is not here to pump up your pride it is here to teach you how to be a whole human.
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