How To Doubt Yourself

Simultaneously notice the best in other people and the worst in yourself. Ardently point out people in your life, people you know in passing, and people you pass on the street who seem to be doing a better job at life than you are to yourself and whoever you’re with. Compare yourself on every single point, the more vague and irrelevant, the better. Make an exhaustive and objectively impossible self-improvement list. Tape it to your bathroom mirror.

Look at all the things that already exist in the world. Think about the one thing you want to do, the one thing you really think you could make an impact with, and think about all the other people who have done it better before you or are already doing it better than you ever can. Have a meltdown, pick yourself up from it, then do nothing.

Workshop your work fiercely. Take the thing you’ve put the most energy into and that you’re most sensitive about and expose it to everyone’s opinions, then take the opinions seriously, all of them, even if they’re full of shit and your five year-old cousin could pass more sensible judgment. Get your sensitive creative ass handed to you in the most brutal way, except neglect to take your criticism with a grain of salt and go into creative hibernation for the next six years, learning nothing.

Date someone who constantly makes you feel like you’re not good enough, someone whose #1 strength is making you feel like no matter what you’re succeeding at, you’re always failing at something. Think this is the best you can do because they love you sooo much and only want you to be a better person, right? Keep them in the background as a reminder of how inadequate you are.

Self-handicap to the highest degree. Think about all the possible roadblocks before you even start a project. Think about how you don’t have enough money or time or motivation or coffee or talent, and now that you think about it, what makes you think what you have to offer is so great anyway? Nah. Better to just step aside right now before you put yourself out there and only hurt yourself.

Think of everything as one huge insignificant whole. Stop taking care of yourself because you can’t see the point. Eat poorly because who cares. Picture your body disintegrating slowly. Think about how nothing really matters and feel extremely tired and useless and give yourself a headache. Picture yourself spinning in your own little cocoon, all soupy and helpless like a brain-damaged tadpole.

Never reward yourself. If you accomplish something, make sure to remind yourself that it’s really no big deal and it could have been done better and actually, was it that good anyway? Who’s the judge of what’s “good”? Oh my god, no one knows. Everything is so arbitrary, no one knows what’s going on. There are humans who think 50 Shades Of Grey is good writing, for Christ’s sake. Oh my god, I suck. Everything sucks. Now what. Help. TC Mark

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