Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Struggling with Self-doubt
Montana ground scape...one of those "random" photos my daughter criticizes me about.
And that's really what this post is going to be about. I am my own best (or is it worst?) critic. Ever since I joined an art quilt group which had a person who was hyper-critical and often said things in general which were quite cutting socially at it's head (although in the art world she was well respected), I've wondered if I should continue.
On Monday, I received the transcript from the interview Karen Musgrave did of me for the Alliance for American Quilts: Save Our Stories. I was floored. There were MANY "ands." I felt that I came across as someone who was uneducated and not very verbal. I have difficulty believing that I really said them, but on the other hand I didn't hear the tape. However, the transcriber DID say I have 8 (!) cats (I have three, and never would have said 8...as I've NEVER had that many cats ever), so maybe the tape isn't as damning as I feel.
I'm tired. I'm frustrated because I can't seem to get on top of my flower gardens. I'm still digging and dividing iris, trying to get rid of the borer and get a box ready to send out to someone who wants divisions. I have too many gardens, and life's general things are getting in the way of me quilting. (I type about 80 words a minute so blogging doesn't take too long).
Someone on the quiltart message board put of a link not too long ago about how we are responsible for our own success and that if we are not producing then it's our own fault. I accept this, and at this point in my life, my family still takes precedent, although I am trying to simplify other areas which I have taken on.
However, yesterday someone put up a query on the same message board asking if we struggled with self-doubt in our work. I was reading the posts with interest, as that's exactly how I was feeling.
Most were very supportive. Then, someone posted this "Maybe when you worry in the dead of night that you aren't good enough it's because you aren't good enough." Ow.
Talk about a major downward spiral. Words, whether written or spoken, are dangerous things. I have a hard time letting them slide off. I have an excellent memory and I still suffer for things I've said or done when I was a child, with the additional baggage as years have gone on.
Now, granted, she went on to say this "That doesn't mean you're a worthless human being, but that you have grown (or ought to grow) and what was good enough last year is no longer the best you can do. So go into the studio and do a little better today." However, I'm having a hard time getting over that initial statement.
Fortunately, Robbi Joy Ecklow wrote in that she struggled tremendously with self-doubt. That helps. Knowing that someone who is recognized still has those periods makes me feel a little better....and probably I'll feel better tomorrow if I can get some decent sleep.