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My recent experience with self-doubt (Sunday Series #1)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

I have to be honest and say that sometimes Sunday can be a stressful day for me. I get so easily caught up in the overwhelming feelings, thinking about all I need to do for the upcoming week and worrying about what I didn’t accomplish during the weekend. By the time Sunday rolls around, I am almost so overwhelmed and worried about everything that I can’t be productive or fully enjoy the day. This has been the case for me for years. Sometimes I get so caught up in the overwhelm that I forget how much I actually have gotten done, or I psych myself out from doing even the smallest tasks because I’m so consumed with everything I didn’t do. Kind of a negative approach, right? Spoiler alert, yes, it’s a very negative approach.

Recently I was thinking to myself and I came up with this idea to do a little experiment called a “Sunday Series” where I’ll work on writing something throughout each week, and then it will get published on Sunday. My main goal is to write about something inspiring or moving that I come across during the week or a lesson I personally learned. I hope to use it as time for reflection but also for inspiration and hopefully to improve my Sundays. I still plan to publish regular articles for Her Campus as well, but I thought it would be fun to have an article that specifically comes out each Sunday until the school year finishes. I am excited for this mini-series and I hope to bring some happiness and inspiration to anyone who comes across these articles on Sundays.

So, here it goes. Sunday Series #1.

The topic for today is self-doubt.

I think this is something that everyone has experienced at one point or another, however, I wanted to write about my most recent experience that I have had with it. I’m currently a senior in college and for my major, I have to write a capstone paper and then do a presentation on it. The paper is supposed to be 25 pages minimum but we can go over it if we want. Now, I have written many papers during my time in college. The actual writing of the paper is not what intimidated me. To be honest, I don’t really know what did intimidate me, but something did.

Before beginning the process of actually writing the paper, I couldn’t start. Throughout the process, I’ve researched and prepared so I am very ready to write, but I would find myself unable to bring myself to do it. Now that I am almost finished with it, I am reflecting back on the experience and I’m very amazed at how much self-doubt I was experiencing. I was scared to start because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. At least, that is my best guess. I was scared to write it because, for some reason, I felt like I couldn’t do it and that anything I wrote would be horrible. This then became a much bigger feeling of self-doubt, where I didn’t think I could write anything for any of my classes, and I became overwhelmed with this irrational fear.

The reality is that I had done three years of college before this and I had written many papers. So, the truth is that none of this was new. Sure, the paper was a little longer than others, and yes it’s a big deal for the class, but looking back, I shouldn’t have doubted myself the way that I did. I will admit, I still have some self-doubt about it as I’m working on finishing it, but now that I have done more than half of it I can look back and see that I really did psych myself out and completely doubted myself.

So, why am I writing this? I’m writing this to talk about how fascinating it is that we as humans can doubt ourselves so much, even in moments when we totally know what we are doing. Once I was able to get out of a self-doubt mindset and believe in myself, the actual writing of the paper was easier. We are all so much more capable than we think we are. Believe in yourself because once you genuinely do, some things get easier. We got this! Happy Sunday!

Mary James

Gettysburg '23

Gettysburg College '23 WGS Major Education and English Minor Coffee Connoisseur