I have a confession to make: I am a doubter, a nonbeliever.
I don't mean this in the sense of not believing in God or in any other kind of deity. Its true that I doubt they exist but I also doubt that we're alone and much of atheism seems to be based on sophistry or the belief in something else, like science or money. Ultimately we all seem to place our faith in something illogical as a cure all for the world's pain, label as it as you will. But that's beside the point.
The point is I doubt and I doubt everything, especially myself and my own abilities. I can brave-face it, throw on a mask of confidence but underneath I'm a bubbling disaster area just waiting to melt down into a nervous mass of terror at the thought of having to do anything I'm not confident about; which is most things really. I'm 36 and have no idea what I'm good at, aside from procrastination and thinking too much. At some point I've managed to trap myself and belief is a foreign concept and I find that I'm reliant on other people to tell me if what I produce is good. Gaming sessions are usually punctuated in their aftermath with me turning to Eve and Emma and asking in a worried tone, "Was it any good?"
I have days where I believe I can write, but this can be swept away by a bad review or a rejection from a tiny magazine that only seems to exist on the internet, leaving me floundering and wondering if my dream is just that, has no more substance than a half remembered dream upon waking, and I would be better off just jacking it in and opting to stare at the tee-vee.
Other days (most days) I believe I can write but everything else I do falls short, leaving me to believe that writing is all I can do and everything else is waste of time and energy. But, as mentioned above, this is a brittle confidence and I can be sent scuttling to the half light of uncertainty again.
It's a vicious circle, it feels like whenever I get some confidence I fuck up, which knocks me back down to zero or into minus figures on the confidence scale. I know, somewhere, that I can do things, use computer programmes, run roleplaying games, write well and so on and so forth but my ability to access that knowledge, that faith, is touch and go; and to be honest its mostly 'go'.
The real kicker is that I have no idea how to fix myself, to instill belief in my abilities when I'm so easily shaken from confidence in myself. Somewhere there must a way to nurture my confidence but I can't see one...