Why Do I Think I Can’t?

Peter Pan Quote | eastandblog.com

I have a vivid memory of a conversation I had with N, several years ago. I was rambling to him about blog stuff (most of which he didn’t understand. blah blah sponsorships blah sidebar ads blah blah analytics blah post idea) and he was kind enough to listen.

So he says to me, “You really like writing.”

To which I replied, “Yeah, I do”.

“Why don’t you write a book?” he asked.

“I can’t write a book,” I replied.

“Why not?” he said, with that tone he uses when he knows that he’s right.

But the idea seemed (and still seems) completely ludicrous to me. I can’t write a book. But why can’t I?

I’ve had what I believe to be an interesting book premise in my mind for a couple of months now. I create characters in my head. I try to put together the plot and a general outline of the book. But I’ve never written a single word of it.

The dreamer in me would love to write a book. The realist me says that I couldn’t do it. I don’t have the technical training, the creativity, or honestly, the drive to write a book. And what if I did? It would never get published.

When I shared these doubts with N and he shrugged and said “I don’t know why you think that. You never know. Every best-selling author probably had those same feelings at one time.”

It’s not just about writing a book. This isn’t the only thing in my life that I feel this way about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an idea and instead of running with it, I convince myself that I could never do it. That someone else could pull it off but I couldn’t.

I’ve often wondered if I could start my own podcast.

I’ve considered starting another blog – one that has a more specific niche.

I’d like to learn to play guitar.

I’d love to learn to create Genesis child themes.

I think about improving my photography and wonder if I could eventually have a side business.

I’ve often pondered really putting effort in to learning another language.

Why does it all seem impossible to me? Other people could do these things. But not me.

I wasn’t raised this way. I’m certain that 4-year-old Nadine believed she could do anything. She wanted to be an artist though she had little artistic talent. Later she wanted to be a writer, an architect, a doctor, a newscaster, a meteorologist, a press secretary, a fitness instructor (HAHAHA), a brand specialist, a corporate executive, a non-profit director, and dozens of other things. And she believed she could be all of those things. When did that stop?

I’m not sure. I’m not sure when I became the “I can’t” girl. It’s not who I want to be. I so admire people who push aside their fears and chase their dreams (Taylor comes to mind, one of the bloggers I admire most). Fear of failure, or ridicule, certainly holds me back. Blogging has taught me a lot and is a positive outlet in my life and yet I also think it has made me far more self-conscious and fearful. I’m constantly nervous that I’m going to be ripped apart and maybe because of that, I shouldn’t be blogging in the first place. I’m too sensitive. But here I am.

I will share this with you. I have started a new project. One that scares me and one I’m nervous to fail at and fearful to share with you. It’s a work in progress and one day (soon) I’ll announce what it is. But for now I’m going to do that blogger thing where I hint at something big and then leave you wondering. So wonder, if you would. And be kind if you can.

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