Lack of Confidence ~ A Barrier to Success

Thank you so much for stopping by.  

I don’t know why, but one of the most difficult battles I personally have to fight regularly is my ever-present deficiency in confidence.

Growing up, I can remember my parents telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to. That nothing is impossible to me, if I were willing to work hard.

Despite all that, I suffer more than my share of insecurity. It’s a mystery.

Instead of dwelling on my shortcomings, however, I’m making an effort to take the advice of my folks and work hard toward building my self-assurance arsenal.

In this business of commercial writing, one can never have too great a supply of confidence when fighting the constant attack from self-doubt.

So how does one build confidence?

By learning all you can, and practicing your craft—continuously.

My husband’s a bowler. He eats, sleeps and breathes bowling. He reads about bowling, takes bowling workshops, and studies professional bowlers to emulate. His obsession can get a little annoying at times, but it keeps him out of my hair so I can write in peace. And that’s a good thing, too.

Any bowler will tell you the sport of bowling is an emotional one, just like writing.

If you don’t have confidence in your ability, you just can’t get that ball to travel the speed and angle needed to knock all ten of those pins down. The poorer you do, the more agitated you get with yourself. When that happens, you might as well pack up your balls and shoes, and go home.

The more you practice, the better you perform, and therefore have less cause for getting upset with yourself. The better you do, the more confident you become. Then things start to happen. The quality of your performance begins to improve until one day you become a winner.

And that’s what we all want, to be winning writers!

So my advice to all of us is to keep learning, practicing, and moving forward toward our ultimate goal of becoming the best darn writers we can be.

Please share your advice on building self-confidence. What works for you?

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24 Responses to Lack of Confidence ~ A Barrier to Success

  1. Ella Quinn says:

    Writing for me is a passion. But I treat it as a new business that I must become good at running to succeed. There is room for improvement, but not for self-doubt.

    • Joyce says:

      I agree, Ella. Self-doubt is very destructive. That’s why knowledge is so important, in my opinion. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Great advice, Joyce! I wish I had more confidence, too. I’m shy, introverted, a homebody, probably why writing is so perfect for me. I haven’t gone to RWA nationals because I fear pitching to agents/editors. Wish I had the answers and if anyone else does please share 🙂

    • Joyce says:

      Thanks for commenting, Jennifer. I haven’t been to RWA nationals, either. But mainly for economic reasons. I hope to be able to go someday. Perhaps by that time, I’ll be an old hand at this writing thing. LOL

  3. Joyce, I’m the same as you…but I make it a conscious effort to just push past my insecurities. Good luck in this crazy game, girl!

    • Joyce says:

      Thank you, Rachel. Yes, you make another excellent point. A good way to increase confidence is to just suck it up and go for it. We may be surprised at what we are capable of. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

  4. Judy says:

    I’m with you Joyce, confidence is something that we as writer have to keep telling ourselves to stay positive and keep improving our writing skills. It’s damn hard. Judy

    • Joyce says:

      I agree, Judy. It is damn hard. But nothing worth having is easy, they say. And, seeing a story complete and out for public entertainment is very rewarding, worth every drop of sweat and tears. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  5. I wish we could press a CONFIDENCE button every day as we brush our teeth.
    Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Having a sense of humour about things helps. I also
    try to stay strong by working out and taking drop-in dance classes.
    I feel beautiful when I’m dancing. I have four Golden Retrievers so we get
    lots of exercise together. Writing keeps me grounded. The world is my gigantic
    tree of life from which I pick ideas and try to find a place for them in one of my
    poems or stories. We’re so lucky to do what we do. I can’t imagine any other life…

    • Joyce says:

      Thank you, Mary. I’m picturing that Easy button from Staples. That would be really nice. I agree a sense of humor helps. After a while, rejections draw laughter instead of tears. Disappointments become expected, and therefore less traumatic. It’s all part of the game. The successes make up for it all, and that’s why we strive to learn and grow. I appreciate your comment. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Lorrie says:

      BION I’m imdsersep! Cool post!

  6. Daryl Devore says:

    I think being a writer and and lacking confidence go hand in hand. We write great stories and we know they’re great – but the big “what if someone doesn’t like it” looms over us like a big black cloud.

    • Joyce says:

      I think you might be right. Self doubt is a biggie for us, too. It’s difficult to look at our own work without thinking there must be flaws. That’s why it helps to participate in critiquing. Thank you, Daryl, for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.

  7. Allie Ritch says:

    The writing industry can be tough on even the most confident person’s ego. I think the key is definitely to keep focused and to celebrate all your victories, big and small, along the way.

    • Joyce says:

      That’s so true, Allie. Even rejection letters with a measure of positive feedback can be something to celebrate. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.

  8. Nichelle Williams says:

    I admit to struggling with the confidence. But when you have great friends such as other authors that help build you up…then it truly does help. Great post. Tweeted, fb’d.


    • Joyce says:

      Thank you so much Nichelle. I really appreciate your friendship. And I agree with you. I don’t know of any other industry where there is so much support from fellow participants. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, and tweeting.

  9. Toni Kelly says:

    Great post. Confidence is huge in writing and strangely we writers tend to beat ourselves up so much. It is important to have support despite the individuality of the profession and many times we need to take a step back to see what we are truly capable of.

  10. Excellent post, Joyce. We all suffer a crisis in confidence once in a while. I think it’s more important to have courage. Courage will carry you through, even when your confidence falters.

    For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing remarkably well. Look where we were just a few short years ago! Now go off into a corner and do a happy dance. You’ve totally got a handle on this thing!

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