Thursday, 5 January 2017

Where Did My Confidence Go?

I want to write and blog, but I don't know what to write and blog. You know? Well, I didn't used to know. I used to have unlimited things to talk (moan) about on the internet, but now I just have a complete compulsion to keep everything to myself. A voice that says no one cares anyway? Growing up and realising I don't actually matter, at all, to anyone, was traumatic, to say the least.

This is sarcasm.

I read the Georgia Nicolson series as a teen and it undoubtably had a major influence on my life outlook. Very insular, you'll know what I'm talking about if you've read them. Secondary school was horrible, riddled with people who enjoyed nothing more than to pick at me for everything I did, especially what I shared on the internet in The Early Years (Tumblr). The only way I toughened myself up to get through it was to believe that they were only picking on me because I was very interesting and they were very not at all. This helped a lot. It was a fun few years being a human shield of confidence. However, once this all stopped I kind of had a very belated breakdown. After college, away from anyone who had anything against me, I developed a horrible, constant expectancy that in the street, on my timeline, sitting on the other side of the coffee shop that I couldn't see to because of my poor eyesight, was a group of people who were laughing at me. I began to hold myself back from doing things just in case they came out and attacked me for it. I absolutely would not put myself out there, so obviously my ~online career~ had a ceiling. Because that's how it works, right? You share more, people connect more, they share it, everything grows organically? Well I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to keep an online diary about running a small biz (&life) going, I wanted to give Youtube a go, but the idea of these things caused so much anxiety and worry that I just absolutely would not try. I even started to hold back on the shop side of things, the thing that made me happiest and actually proud. I worried about selling at craft fairs, pitching my products to retailers, expanding in any way whatsoever, in case it was presumptuous, I was being silly, getting too big for my boots, etc.

So these ghost people that I had imagined were there, ready and waiting for me to try something that would fail so they could laugh at it, started holding back everything that might have been if I had just tried. And I know it might have worked because I love sharing, nothing brings me more joy than being open and finding out everything about another person, and vis versa. I believe that if you have a true passion, you'll be able to make anything work! And I've had so many requests for me to start Youtube, or a podcast, but I've batted every one away. Just over two years ago I finally persuaded myself to get snapchat, and really quickly started pseudo vlogging, but these days I can hardly bring myself to do even that, for a different reason.


After essentially freezing my career, my hobby, I've watched it slowly, but predictably, fade. It is downhill. Going. On a roll, down a negative gradient. As has my motivation because of this weird, ridiculous unwillingness to try.

And God, I feel terrible, because I still get messages, requests for interviews, saying how well I'm doing and asking for advice. I'm not doing well! I'm doing pretty horribly, to be honest. I haven't been doing well since August 2014, before I left for uni. And even before then. I was probably only doing well in 2013. I definitely have the complex where I would be upset if I got a B in a test I was working to get an A on. It doesn't matter that a B is good, I know within myself what my dreams are, my goals, my capabilities, and how much or little I'm working towards them. I'm not happy now because although I'm still working every day at what I do, I used to and should be working on another level. I could still be if it wasn't for the horrible insecurity that hovers like a squishy but solid and black wall above me, not letting me through the trap door to the next level of the doll house game I could be in if life was actually a video game.

How do I explain what I'm feeling? Why it's an issue?

  • I feel as though I can't design new products because they're not good enough, which comes from a general and quickly spreading, overall insecurity. I even tried collaborating for a few months because I was so insecure about my work. Totally loosing sense of what I wanted.
  • I feel the decline in the success of my business, whatever area it may be, is un motivating. Obviously that's a cycle and is a side effect. Everyone goes through this, it needs pushing through.
  • I feel intensely uncomfortable with putting myself out there, trying. When I do, usually I feel happy. But I rarely do. It's too much of a block to start. That's why this post is completely unstructured. I'm just getting it all out, capturing this short burst of motivation. 
  • I feel embarrassed and even more insecure in my abilities because it seems a lot of people haven't noticed. I assume most people have. But the messages make it worse. I'm sorry if you've said something kind and this makes you feel bad but I just can't take the compliments if I don't consider them true..

All this has affected me at uni, too. I don't know how to talk to people anymore. I haven't been a very smooth socialiser since school, really, but it's just pathetic now. I don't have confidence in who I am, so I stay silent a lot of the time. I hate it!! People must meet me and think I don't care, or that I'm really boring. I just don't know how to present myself, why would they care to talk to me?


Positivity. Let's think positively. I've considered that maybe this is an internal journey and I'm currently on the cusp of the sort after and long awaited realisation that nobody cares so do whatever the hell you want. But I think it's more along the lines of nobody cares so don't do anything, or they'll care but in a bad way and it will be terrible. Oh my god, I'm so ridiculous?

This post is like really, really crap self therapy. How do I end it..

I need to find myself, to try everything that I want to do. Because I do WANT to do it. I have the thoughts, I still have dreams. I need to try things, set goals for myself again. I need a plan, I need to meet these plans and feel proud again. I had a plan from Year 11 until uni, but I'd forgot to plan what happened once I got to uni, so completely spiralled into uncertainty. Anyway, positivity. Brains are so complicated, self worth and efficacy are hard to keep when you're capable of being your worst enemy. So what's the answer, just get over it?

I think that's all I have to say. I kind of hope no one reads this, but then again I want to share it. Happy 2017, make it lovely. Don't let others bring you down.

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10 comments

  1. This is such a brave and honest post. I know exactly how you feel (I struggle with all of this too), being a young creative is really tough I think. Just know that there are people who believe in you, even if you don't believe in yourself. Sending you lots of love and positivity x

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    1. Thank you very much, I hope it gets easier for you too <3

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  2. I just want to say - this post seriously resonates with me Polly! Im also in my 2nd year of uni and have realised how much the growing, stifling awareness of my own lack of confidence in the face of everyone else's success and judgement has basically paralysed my ability to do anything creative/out of my comfort zone. I've followed you for a few years now and basically I just felt like I had to say something bc you'd be so good on YouTube (your snapchat stories honestly are A+, I would back you all the way on YT) & also seriously admire what you've already created for yourself. I really want to break out of this mindset too and read recently that confidence comes after actions, not before - so if you want to do YouTube, maybe just go for it and see what happens! I just really needed to say something as you essentially just articulated exactly how I've been feeling for the last year or so. Pls forgive this ramble from a stranger, I wish you all the positive energy for 2017 💜

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    1. Thank you so much for this message, I really appreciate your support! Yes, even a stranger's! :') I'm sorry to hear you're going through a similar time <3

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  3. Polly Polly Polly!

    Girl, you do NOT need to just get over this, you do not need to feel as if your words have no value or worth, especially to those who follow your work and care so deeply about you.

    This blog post speaks so much to me because it is exactly what I've been struggling with for many years, low self worth/depression/anxiety .. the works honestly (did you read the blog post I wrote today? It really gets deep into whats going on in my life right now).

    I know I'm older than you and I've been around longer and, yes, I've in recovery at the moment from my struggles with my mental illness and addictions .. but I am FAR from getting to a place where I feel like I am doing my best, making a difference, or even mattering to those around me.

    Please don't feel like you aren't doing something with your life because you ARE! The fact that you can write this blog post and you already have so many uplifting comments is just proof that you are valid and your work is valid. PEOPLE CARE. I CARE!

    It may take your ENTIRE LIFE to get to a place where feel like you belong or are measuring up to life's standards, so please don't feel discouraged that you aren't there yet.

    Because you will be, I promise.

    Hit me up if you ever need to talk, okay?

    PS - I'm getting a Youtube account started this year and I am TERRIFIED.

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  4. Thanks so much for publishing this, it really rang true with me, and omg is it nice to know that someone else feels this way too! I've been a follower since the Tumblr days :)

    I hope you don't mind if I give you some advice, but something a relative said to me a few years ago literally changed my outlook on life and my confidence etc - as pathetic as that sounds, it's true.
    It was an old Aunt at one of those horrific forced family events. Mum had told her I was struggling with creativity and my self-believe, and she said: 'if they care, so what? Are these people part of your life? Why are you letting their opinions restrain you and put limits on what to create?'

    Maybe try to attribute less importance to the views of your 'audience' - why should doing well and having an amazing business aged 20, come with the cost of negative thoughts and self-doubt?

    Katie xx

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  5. I know that sometimes this is annoying to hear but I have so much faith in your success because you are one of the most motivated people I have ever came across on the internet! The fact that you even started a business (and actually made money) before going to uni is amazing. Like you said, you know that you can do it. But it's okay to take the pressure off sometimes, especially as you are still at uni! Have fun and make things for yourself whilst you still can. You have so much talent and passion for what you do and sometimes things will look bad, products won't be liked as much, or you won't get the grade you want but it happens. Take the negatives as learning experiences but don't let them define you because days pass and you can try again. I can relate with the socialising thing and it's hard to give advice because i can remember reading some myself and thinking "well that's easy for you to say!". I learned that sometimes you do just have to push yourself to talk to people even if it is the smallest conversation, but remember it is okay to be quiet too. Some people are just overly talkative haha. xxx

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  6. Polly this really resonates with me and my general thoughts about life / uni / creativity! you've articulated exactly how I feel with the whole "people could be laughing" and how it prevents you pursuing all the good things!

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