I’m afraid of myself.

What are you afraid of? That’s kind of a loaded question, don’t you think? We all have fears, lots of them probably. I could talk to you all day about petty things that scare me – driving in a city I’ve never been to before, going to a party alone, public speaking, spiders, the list goes on. But for me, the biggest fear I have is myself. I am my own worst enemy.As a freelance designer, I spent a lot of time alone. Which means I have A LOT of inner dialogue. But for me, being alone with my thoughts isn’t always a good thing. While some of my internal commentary is as simple as, “I like cheese” or “Nice shoes!” most of it is not nearly as amiable. It tends to be far more judgmental and quite frankly, pretty bitchy. So what starts off as an innocent conversation with myself about my love for all things cheese, quickly turns into “I’m a horrible designer,” “I am not creative” and “I have NO idea what I’m doing” – all thoughts that will effectively get me nowhere!Here’s what I do know, however. These crushing thoughts of self-doubt are sabotaging. They paralyze action, kill all hope for success and productivity and seriously interfere with my happiness. Sometimes I liken them to a trip to Target – like a vortex that sucks you in, gets you lost for a little while and then spits you out with a lot less cash than when you went in! And while simply having these thoughts won’t break the bank outright, they will if I allow them to perpetuate.

But I’m a fighter AND a work in progress, and I owe it to myself to be successful and happy! And that means not only being conscious of my thoughts (evil bastards that they are), but reshaping them into ones that aren’t so self-defeating. The first step to overcoming something is admitting that there’s a problem in the first place. I’m learning to have an awareness of my energy and utilizing some daily tools to stay afloat.

My word for 2013 is Gratitude and practicing it daily has really helped. Also, reminding myself that just because I do something differently than someone else, doesn’t make it wrong, or less in any way. It simply makes it different. And I’m learning to celebrate my successes; something I’ve not done in the past. All in all, what it boils down to is being mindful, and striking a balance between giving and not giving a shit what people think of you. What matters is what you think of yourself.

So in the words of Jon Acuff, I’m going to punch fear in the face, escape average and do work that matters. I was meant for something more and it’s time to start owning my awesome!

Morgan is a freelance graphic designer obsessed with all things internet and carbohydrate. 2013 is the year she’ll make her business official and once and for all become a little creative (that’s her new business identity). She can be found on her blog, talking about food on Twitter or sharing way too many pictures of her dog oInstagram.

Fear Confessions is a series of essays by creatives who share personal stories about facing their fears. It’s a celebration of vulnerability.

  1. Anonymous

    Loved the thought behind this! Just like we learned in 1st Grade… If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all…. but it is hard to escape those negative feelings when they are in your head. Remember it is the same brain that comes up with the awesome designs you love that also can be the most critical and judgmental. But it all comes full circle. Sometimes when the negative thoughts come in, is just when I am on the verge of a design breakthrough!

  2. What a beautiful post, Morgan! Oh, the inner dialogue – I can absolutely relate! Like you I’ve been working hard on turning my negative voice into a more positive one – I don’t want to self-sabotage any longer, and instead want to allow myself to be successful at what I do. It’s nice to know that there are others who are working on very similar things.