Exploring the upside of doubt

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post by Jonathan Mead…

It was the headline that grabbed my attention. “Seven weird habits,” it began, “that will change your life.” I usually try to steel myself against clickbait-y heads like that, but my willpower gave out and I clicked. “Seven Weird Habits That Will Change Your Life.”

Here’s what I liked about what the blogger, Jonathan Mead (pictured above) had to say: His advice was completely counter-intuitive. For example, he suggested ignoring and doubting yourself, holding back and trying the impossible.

Mead is coach, writer and producer of several digital guides and courses on following your dreams and getting paid to exist. I accept that a certain percentage of what he has to say is hype and overstated.

But part of what he has to say is also useful advice for many writers. Consider, for example, his advice on ignoring yourself:

Ignore and doubt yourself. Sometimes listening to yourself and getting in touch with your intuition is important. But what if you don’t like what you have to say to yourself? What if you have patterns of thought that aren’t serving you? Sometimes it’s better to allow them to be there and ignore them, rather than trying to push them out. Other times, it’s even important to doubt yourself… that is, doubt what you think you’re capable of. We often underestimate our potential, so it can be beneficial to create the habit of doubting what you think you can do. It’s often much more than you think.

If you’re underestimating your potential (as a writer) this belief may be enough to hold you back. Instead, ignore your beliefs and pursue the hard work it takes to become a writer.