Continuation from Part 1.
Despite having come such a long way, I now feel like I am fast falling back into this black hole which I allowed to consume me for too long. Clicking onto Instagram, the pretty girls are back, the perfect makeup, the stylish way to dress – and I am back to not being good enough. These feelings are breaking me inside, not being able to appreciate others for their uniqueness, but becoming sad through comparing myself.
You may be wondering “well, when and where did this change come from?”. You see, I am embarking on a venture in a saturated market, where I have no qualifications or formal education to be in. So I feel like I am imposing, I have no right to be here, what could I possibly offer with all these others playing the same game?
To put it into context, I want to set up my own clothing company. One interest Allah guided me to after university was sewing. I love to sew. I’ve made many garments for myself from day-wear to occasion-wear and everything in between. Sewing has been a huge part of giving me confidence and making me feel beautiful – making me feel worthwhile. I’ve grown in my technical abilities and relish both the compliments and astonishments that come from telling people “I made it myself”.
So now I want to take my vibrant, colourful garments to market and allow other women to enjoy them as I have done. But I feel unworthy; my mind is consumed with doubt in my ability. I didn’t study fashion, so what could I possibly know beyond what I have taught myself in this industry built on fashion graduates. But what is probably worse is that I feel like I have no style compared to these bloggers and instagramers who seem to know how to build a following, what looks good, how to pose and take awesome photos.
I am comparing myself at the beginning of my journey of learning and not knowing, to those who have been doing it for years. Rather than looking to them as inspiration, I look to them as unachievable and unrealistic goals for me.
This is a reminder to me and others dealing with hesitation and internal uncertainty. Doubt within is painful and all-consuming. But judging ourselves against others is worse. We’re allowing our time and efforts to be consumed with why we are not good enough and why we cannot do it. I need to unshackle my self-imposed reservation, otherwise I will be forced to ask myself “what if” in years to come, rather than be able to say “look at what I have achieved”.
I am learning that life is about taking things at your own pace rather than expecting yourself to be at the same stage as others who have been doing it for much longer. Its cliché to say, but we must be better than the person we were yesterday; rather than trying to become weak imitations of others. Follow your own uniqueness.
Have you been through something similar? How did you overcome the emotions you experienced?