Quality is completely subjective — for every idea, creation or decision that one person thinks is good, there will be someone out there who thinks it is bad.
It’s easy to get stuck in cycles of self-doubt, debating whether option A or option B is correct. Simply acknowledging that no choice is perfect can be incredibly powerful. By recognising that there will always be someone to disagree with you, you can free yourself from the constant back and forth of self-doubt.
It also frees you to do the things that will bring you true happiness and fulfilment. Rather than try to please those around you, you can recognise that there is no way to please everybody. Rather than try to fit perfectly into the conventions of society, you can recognise that there is no way to fit perfectly — even society’s conventions are subjective.
Following the lead of others can be useful when you’re exploring uncharted territory. When you try something new, learning from the mistakes of others and following best practice can make the process a lot more enjoyable. But it’s vital to remember that even best practice is subjective — there is rarely an absolute best way to do things. Advice should analysed and questioned, never followed blindly.
When self-doubt rears its head, I try to do one simple thing — re-orient myself towards my ultimate goals. In Neil Gaiman-inspired style I simply ask which option points me towards where I ultimately want to be going. There is no good or bad, no outside influence — just a simple question of how to point myself in the right direction.
What do you do when you’re struggling with self-doubt? Let me know in the comments below!
Also published on Medium.