sorry white people but if you dont support mike brown & the people of fergusons’ protests in 2014 you probably wouldnt have supported abolition in the 1800s or civil rights movements in the 1960s & having the ability to recognize something as morally justified in hindsight something that has already been accepted by the mainstream as morally justified is nice for u but on all practical levels useless to everyone else
I’m plagued by this constant, nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough.
Yeah, I can analyze it. It’s a combination of female socialization telling me that any time I take for myself, be it for resting or for entertainment, is selfish, and living a capitalist society that tells me that any activity that doesn’t have the ultimate goal of acquiring money is useless and a waste of time. And while I rationally understand this, I still can’t let go of this unyielding sensation that I am useless.
I’ve just got a bachelor’s degree not too long ago. I have a certificate of proficiency in English. I’ve done several courses on the side. I have a job, I wake up at 5 AM, go there and work a regular 8 hours a day, plus 1 hour of lunchtime that I never fully use because I gobble up my lunch in 20 minutes and go back to work early. I do all these things and I still feel worthless and unnacomplished. And I kept telling myself things like “oh, when I get my dregree I will stop feeling useless”, or “when I get a job I’ll feel better”, but it never happens. I can bust my ass 18 hours a day and I’ll still feel like shit. The problem is in my head, and I know that, but I still can’t purge it.
On top of it, I have this impostor syndrome bullshit going on. Whenever I tell anyone about my accomplishments, I feel like I’m a liar. I have a website with some of my work on display, and it feels like it’s not really mine, that I’m faking it. And I know this feeling is bullshit, but I don’t know how to get rid of it. I’m fucking tired, I just want to be able to relax and feel proud of myself once in a while, but I always feel like I could have done more, I could have done better, I’m lazy, I’m sloppy. It’s textbook female socialization, where we feel permanently unsatisfied and guilty no matter what we do. And then I feel even MORE guilty for feeling like this at all, because it means I’m being too harsh on myself. And I just can’t relax anymore, everytime I try to watch a movie or play a game there’s this little voice on the back on my head saying “yo why aren’t you working right now? You COULD be doing something USEFUL right now but you’re there wasting your time”. I just can’t enjoy anything anymore.
Don’t really know how to fix it. I KNOW the issue, I rationally understand it, but I can’t stop feeling it. And you know what, it’s killing my creativity. If anyone has any tips on how to deal with this kind of situation, I’d appreciate it.
Hey, I’m reblogging this because I think some of my other followers could also use the advice.
I used to get that, too, when I was a younger artist. The general feeling of being useless if you’re resting, useless if your work isn’t good enough, just useless for any and no reason. It’s a sucking void and no matter how much work you shovel into its gaping maw, it will never appease the Useless Demon. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but somehow, when I look back at my old diary entries and compare them with how I feel now, I’ve gotten rid of the Useless Demon. So I will try to think what I might have done that could help.
You have to starve the feeling. Whenever you feel that pressure building up telling you that you NEED to be working, DON’T. Pick up a video game instead, or go for a walk, or, better yet, lay on the couch doing nothing. When you have a day off work, instead of trying to maximize productivity, do something that you couldn’t in your wildest dreams consider “productive,” like going for a 10km hike to nowhere. It will hurt at first. But this is the only way to starve the bad thoughts.
I just want to reiterate: You are correct, all the stuff your brain promised about how you’re gonna feel good about yourself when you do XYZ, it was all a lie. Your brain lied to you. So, you gotta do what you do when anyone lies to you: assert your boundaries. The Useless Demon will say “I’ll let you feel good about yourself as soon as you finish drawing that thing.” And you say “No, I will lay on the couch and do nothing, and still feel good about myself.” Of course you won’t at first. It will hurt. But practice makes perfect, and your end goal is to be able to lie on the couch eating potato chips and still feel like your life is important and has value. Because THAT’S the truth.
Step two is don’t be silent about it. Surround yourself with people who like you even while you’re laying on the couch eaching potato chips. Whenever you feel the Useless Demon sinking its claws into your back, tell your people. Tell your tumblr followers. We will tell you that your life is important and has value no matter what you’re doing. Eventually, you will start to believe it. But remember this is secondary! You have to be doing step 1 at the same time for this to work.
"But if I don’t have constant internal pressure telling me my life is meaningless if I don’t draw, then…will I stop creating?"
No. You just have to trust me on that one. You may find yourself creating even more once you get the Useless Demon off your back.
As for the Imposter Syndrome, the best advice I can give you for that is also pretty easy to follow. If you want to feel good about yourself as a female creator, than you have to feel good about art made by other female creators. That might mean putting a moratorium on male-created art. Even if you’ve been trying to surround yourself with female creators, our brains usually register 70/30% male/female as “equal” in any given situation, which I’m sure you know from many of the recent studies that have been done. Maybe for the next month, only read books by women, play games made by women, listen to music by women, etc. Yeah, it’s more work because you’ll have to search for it, but it made a huge difference in my own mental health and I hope it can for you as well.
- east coasters: i drove through 17 states on the way to work
- west coasters: i have been traveling in this desert for 49 years. generations have died. children have been born. when will i make it to the promised land
- Midwesterners: I haven't left a 20 mile radius in 2 years