Defying Doubt


July 14, 2020

Defying Doubt

It’s wonderful to have Abiy share words and images with us here, and more can be found on her blog, sunday, once more. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Doubt has often crept up on me this past month, it has sat in my throat and refused to budge. As if it’s made itself at home in my body, my mind, without giving space for questioning. It’s like the unspoken belief that no matter how confident you are in what you create, before showing it to others Worry sits at the back of your mind with Anxiety. Both gossiping about your inabilities, that maybe what you’re doing isn’t enough and that people don’t care.

And, I am tired of the internal dialogue. With so much going on in the world, it’s hard not to notice the grasp the news has on us. It’s a lot to take in, it’s overwhelming and there is a constant exposure to the pain of others. It makes me feel uncomfortable, uncertain and doubtful of what I can do, if anything I do matters anymore when I feel drained and tired of hearing the groaning and collective pain of the world. Which then leads to worrying my art is worth sharing anymore? Is it good enough? Is using my voice going to do anything? The questions are never-ending, but I think the most important thing I’ve taken away from this month is that it is okay to ask the questions and to doubt. But we must also keep moving even when doubt presents itself, when worry and anxiety camp out at the back of our minds. Despite the presence of doubt, fear, anxiety, or worry – there is permission for you to still wholly be yourself and to reflect who you are through your art, into this world. It may feel daunting at times, but what you do is defiance within itself; it is saying that even though you are scared, you are still capable of moving through life and trust the process, even if it’s terrifying.

We don’t grow in the comfortable. Using our voices, creating art, it’s not always easy and it’s not always comfortable, but sometimes you move through it because you know that piece is worth creating. No matter the product you took the step and did it in fear, you were willing to learn something about yourself through that process. What you do is valid, it is enough, and it is important. You are allowed to show up for yourself and others when it is hard even if it’s the scary thing to do, because we so often forget that no man is an island. We inhabit the island with others, bringing what we can, what we have and what we do to the table because it’s what we know, it’s uniquely ours, and it matters even if we do not see it.

Friend, I urge you when you feel yourself leaning towards doubt the next time you create, know that what you do is valid, it is important, and it is needed. The world needs you, it needs your voice, and it needs your art.

Abiy Babatunde