We’ve all been there, the ‘I’m not good enough’ scenario. It’s something everyone grapples with, we build resilience and we either try harder or give up. We feel it in our jobs, lives, relationships and ambitions. It crushes our dreams and feeds us back to the machine that made us feel that way in the first place. The question is, who is responsible for alleviating these feelings? Do we sit and wait for some all-knowing person to finally say – ‘yes, you are good enough, you can do this’? As performers, creatives and dreamers we can feel powerless and the powerlessness leaves us desperate for approval.
Navigating a creative career is difficult. The fields are competitive, close-knit and full of politics and behind the scenes work that performers and creatives feel powerless against. One common thing creatives and performers share, a kind of sad comradery, is the feeling of ‘not being good enough’. It’s no surprise considering the constant rejection, constant losing out and constant ‘putting yourself out there’ only to be shut down. A lot of the time it’s never personal, it’s because of the aforementioned competitiveness and politics. That doesn’t mean it won’t harm the ol’ ego a tad, or give the confidence a bit of a bruising. We’re sensitive creatures and we take these things to heart no matter how much of a ‘thick skin’ we build.
In my early 20s through to at least 26, I’d really beat myself up about not getting jobs, not being cast in projects and not being more successful. In my now wise age of 28, I try to let those negative thoughts go. Keyword, TRY. I’m no hero, I’m not so enlightened that these things never bother me. If anything, these days I get this feeling of ‘giving up’ because I ‘tried my best’ and it’s time to get a ‘real job’ because ‘it’s too late’ to be successful. Time to get your shit together Veronica! You’re married, you should just buy a house and have kids, right? No, not right. It’s not too late, I shouldn’t ‘give up’ and let’s face it – nobody is buying a house in the city these days. Not unless you want to live off rice and tuna and have no luxuries like Netflix or wine! I digress, I digress…back to the point at hand, why do we not feel good enough? It’s all these expectations we burden ourselves with. All these things we supposedly have to do in order to have our shit together, to be successful, to be living a good life. The same thing can be said about our careers. We give ourselves these expectations and we are so harsh and unkind to ourselves when we don’t meet them. Furthermore, we fail to see when we do meet them because perhaps it’s not exactly how we planned or thought it would happen. And even worse, we constantly compare ourselves to those around us. Not only those around us who we have direct contact with but those whose lives we follow through our digital spheres.
Have you stopped to think that we are all products of a machine that doesn’t have our happiness at its core? To make matters more stressful, we take negative self-talk into our homes and hearts even more by constantly being in contact with ‘the outside world’ via our numerous social media accounts. Wanna feel shit about yourself? Just hop onto Insta and see what holidays your mates are on, or what new job that chick you know just booked, or how good so-and-so looks after their gym work out. Or how about that couple who just bought a new house and look like they have their lives sorted. That’s a recipe for feeling crap about your life. We can’t change that either, it’s going to keep happening. People have to hustle, don’t deny you don’t share your successes online. It’s an ugly game we all play! How do we keep ourselves in check? That’s the real issue here, not hating on everyone else’s game and blaming them for our perceived failures.
We all need a little bit of perspective and truth. The moment I truly asked myself why I wanted to act, to write and why I wanted to be a performer the anxiety eased. Truly ask yourself why you want to do the things you are doing. Ask yourself and keep asking until you land at an honesty that leaves you feeling weightless. In a world of fakes, lies, pretenders and the insecure search for your truth. There’s no need to burden yourself with THE TRUTH, only YOUR TRUTH. I want to tell stories, to inspire people to be happy and to share other people’s truths. That’s why I do what I do and that’s why I won’t stop no matter how many people say ‘no’, tell me I’m ‘not right’ or flat out tell me I’m not ‘good enough’.
No-one owes it to me to tell me I’m good enough, I owe it to myself, just like you owe it to yourself to create your happiness.