Confession: What If I Suck…

2014-04-01 20.44.49THIS ENTIRE WEEKEND WAS SPENT SHOPPING.

And it wasn’t even the fun kind of shopping. You know, the kind when you somehow end up shopping online because there’s a massive sale and you just have to have the “Believe In Yourself” knit top. And, also, because you have a new credit card that collects points every time you buy things. So lets buy things! Even if you’re not exactly sure what these points count towards. But points!

No, this weekend wasn’t like that.

It was the holy-crap-I-have-nothing-to-wear kind of shopping. You know, the kind where you’re looking for something specific and can’t find anything in any store and EVERYTHING makes you fat or like you belong in Pretty Woman and then you just give up and go get some Chipotle. What? Don’t act like you’ve never tried on a dress that would cast you as Julia Roberts. Or ate Chipotle.

The thing is, I’m starting a new job tomorrow. It’s only a short-term gig for a few weeks but requires professional attire. And having just come back from Australia, I don’t exactly have professional attire. I kind of did when I was working in Australia, but ditched the work clothes after my contract ended and started traveling.

Being a girl, I have more options to play around with clothes. Also, I hate slacks. They’re ugly. I wouldn’t wear them outside of work. However, if I found a cheap pair (which I didn’t) I would have considered getting a pair. But then there’s the whole I’m-short factor, which means I’d have to get the pants tailored and that just makes my life a lot more difficult. I like things to be easy. This is exactly why I avoid dresses with zippers in the back. Seriously, who wants to spend hours trying to zip-up and zip down? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So, with that in mind, I tried to find dresses and jackets that I could purposely wear outside of work. I also had to hunt for shoes. And with shoes, I lean towards flats because, well, heels just need to stop.

Don’t worry, this post isn’t a fashion post. No, it’s actually about how I suck.

Or how I think I suck.

This morning I woke up dreading shopping after HOURS of shopping yesterday and trying to find affordable, work-appropriate and socially appropriate clothes to wear. I think I was successful but still had a bit more shopping to do today.

After the dreadful feeling of Ugh-I-Have-To-Go-Shopping-Again, I thought, “What if I suck?”

This feeling isn’t new. I’ve felt it one too many times before.

Whenever I start something new and unfamiliar, I start over-thinking about how I won’t be able to handle it. I think of how I might screw up. I think about how much I’ll suck.

Whether it’s a new job, a new project, or a new travel destination, I think about how I’ll fail.

“What if I don’t get it?”

“What if I’m not smart enough?”

“What if I’m not good enough?”

“What if I suck?”

I’m not exactly sure why I feel this way every single time I start something new and unfamiliar. Self-sabotage?

I’m currently taking an online travel-writing course because, SURPRISE, I want to be a writer. A real one, too. Not just the kind who writes Yelp reviews. I’m taking this course because I really want to improve my writing skills and start a new chapter in my life. I want to get paid for my writing. I want to write things that I enjoy and believe in. Of course, I fear that I will suck. I fear that no one will want to pay me for my writing. Or worse, read my writing.

When I first volunteered to be an ESL teacher last year when I was considering moving to Thailand to teach English, I worried that I would suck. I mean, these people are depending on me to teach them English. And it wasn’t like I was an assistant or anything. I taught whole classes. Alone. As you may have noticed, I didn’t ended up going to Thailand. But I’d like to think that I didn’t suck as much as I thought I would while teaching English. I might have even, you know, taught someone something.

When I started my office job in Melbourne, I feared that I would suck. A lot of it was new to me and I had no idea if I would be able to take on their tasks. I like to believe that I was an asset to their company and caught on pretty quickly.

When I hopped on an airplane last April to move to Australia, I was terrified that I’d suck. What if I’d end up homeless? What if I won’t be able to make friends or find a job or find food? I survived a whole year in Australia. It wasn’t easy. But what is?

It’s a pattern that repeats itself over and over again. What if I suck…? Perhaps these negative thoughts are putting limitations on what I can do. Or perhaps it’s normal and everyone thinks they suck. You think you suck, right? (Please say yes.)

If I can move past thinking “What if I suck…?” to “What if I don’t suck…?” then maybe I won’t have a panic attack every-time I start something new.

What if I don’t suck?

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” ― Michael Jordan

Do you ever feel like you suck? Or you’re going to suck when you start something new? (Please say yes.)

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10 Comments
  1. I think we all pretty much suck at some things. For example, I suck at: jogging, flirting and public speaking. But, yet, this has not stopped me from attempting to do all these things. Some with more success than others. Plus, I’d like to think the things I don’t suck at outnumber the things I do suck at. So focus on the things you don’t suck at (like being the best Mariah Carey fan ever and having a super-pink bed and being fun and interesting and adventurous) and then you won’t feel nearly so bad about the things you do suck at. Or, at least, maybe you won’t care so much about them. Either way, you don’t suck. So there.
    Sally recently posted…Random Stuff ListMy Profile

    • Aww, thanks, Sally! And, FYI, you DON’T Suck at Public Speaking. I’ve heard you speak and you’re so amazing! I think you should do it more 🙂

  2. I used to stress out and have serious anxieties. My grandma told me this — don’t borrow trouble. Most the things you worry about never happen. If it does happen, it will pass. Most people I know would not have the gumption to move to Australia on a whim. It’s very gutsy of you.
    Lissa recently posted…Vegan Quinoa and Brown Rice Fiesta SaladMy Profile

  3. Hi Priya, I’ve been following your blog for quite a few months and I figured it’s about time I said hi! I don’t think you suck at all. In fact, I think you’re super brave for going to Australia on your own with no plans, and you found work + adventure and survived the year!! I would have been way too scared to do that. I do relate to always thinking I suck too. I have the same fears. I’ve been thinking about taking a travel writing class too, or a blogging course, but I’m afraid of failure. I feel like if it’ll be horrible if I take a class and find out I still suck! But you inspire me to also try, because like you said, we need to change our thinking to “what if I don’t suck”. I love this! 🙂
    Anna recently posted…6 steps to bargaining at D’Talipapa market in BoracayMy Profile

    • Hi Anna! Thanks so much for commenting and introducing yourself!

      I think we all sometimes feel that we’re not good enough but the real danger is not trying at all. I heard a saying once and I like to think of it from time to time. The saying is, “Doubt Kills Dreams More than Failure Ever Will”. It’s true. A lot of the time we think we’ll suck so we don’t try at all.

      Anyway, you should take that travel writing or blogging course. You never know. You might learn that you don’t suck after all. 🙂

  4. I think that you are being too hard on yourself – you don’t suck!
    You were so brave to go down under by yourself and even get kissed by a male stripper. Girl, you ROCK!!!
    As for the slacks, I am short and get mine in the Petite section of a store – that might help you too. No need for alterations. Go girl!!!!

  5. Doesn’t everyone go through that when they start something new? I do. I always take a while to get settled somewhere and absolutely loathe starting a new job because all my anxieties come screaming out.

    Also, you’re a badass so you definitely don’t suck. 🙂
    Ceri recently posted…Thoughts From the North of South KoreaMy Profile

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