When Self Doubt Creeps In

doubt We all want to be confident, or at the very least appear confident. Fake it til' you make it, right? While it is good to tell yourself that you believe in yourself even if you aren't sure (all that reverse psychology and 'I can and I will' stuff), sometimes we have moments of doubt, and it can be hard to fight.

School has been really good for me. It has been challenging me and stretching me in new ways. My classes this semester are actually pretty interesting. I have been meeting new people and consistently talking to more people (many more this semester than last). With that, last semester and the couple weeks of this new one, have also been difficult, draining, and has made me doubt things about myself and my chosen career path. My design work has been so gruelingly time consuming, confusing, and downright stressful. I have not felt much passion about my projects (although few would when you are restricted solely to jalapeƱos and Helvetica as your subject matter) and I have caught myself comparing my work to the work of my peers, wondering why it seems to come so easily to them and why I am having such difficultly coming up with something brilliant.

I didn't mention this here and didn't even tell my dad this until last night, but I did not get accepted into the BFA program I applied to in December. I got the letter the evening we were heading down to San Diego to celebrate Christmas with my family, and opened it as we were starting in on our 8 hour drive. When I quickly scanned through the letter and saw many problem area boxes checked, with zero comments or personality to accompany them, my heart sank. My face immediately heated up and I felt my throat tightening and warm tears filling my eyes. It is never pleasant to be rejected, especially on something that you spent hours and sleepless nights working for. I shoved the paper back in its envelope and threw it in the glove box, to be forgotten until after the holidays, when I was forced to deal with reality again.

Winter break was very healing for me and I had a lot of time to lick my wounds after last semester's stress and disappointment. I was able to deal with my feelings about being rejected to the BFA program and find peace with it. It is not the end of the world and does not mean that I will not become a wonderful graphic designer. It just means that at this time I am not ready to be in that higher level program, but maybe I will be at the end of this semester. And even if it doesn't happen at that time, that's okay too and I will add a minor to my graphic design degree instead. I will pursue other interests outside of design. Things will be fine and will work out how they are supposed to.

Now, of course, I realize that rejection is not always great for our ego. Whether it is being rejected from a possible job, a date, for a loan, whatever it may be... It isn't fun. But, regardless, we keep marching on. Whatever is meant to be, will be. Other doors will open and new opportunities will come. Just keep going.

While working on my design homework yesterday, I let the pressure get to me and these thoughts of self doubt crept into my mind once again. I found myself wondering if being a graphic designer is something I will be good at eventually and what would happen if I graduated and couldn't get a job in the design field. Would I be a failure? Will I be a nanny forever? Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system like Dai and my dad to share these thoughts with, who both are so reassuring to me. I know that it is silly to feel this way, to compare my journey with those of my peers, and to second guess my decisions. It is most important to just keep working hard and having a positive outlook.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share this here with you all, but I did. Maybe writing is how I work through my feelings about it, or maybe I thought it would resonate with some of you. Either way, here it is: my fears, my doubts, my heart.

Here is to believing yourself and ignoring those thoughts that are only there to slow you down. You keep going, girl. You can do anything.