I read the following passage from Seth Godin in The Practice on the same morning that I read an article from Ryan Holiday about believing in yourself. Both arguments were almost identical.
According to Seth:
“Trust earns you patience, because once you trust yourself, you can stick with a practice that most people can’t handle.”
According to Seth AND Ryan, self-assurance isn’t the key. Self-assurance is a motivational trick to “manifest” something that you don’t have, a success you haven’t earned yet.
Trust, on the other hand, is about showing up to do the work every day. Trust is what you earn when you handle the “imperfections” of your practice with as much grace as you can manage. It’s showing up, even when you don’t feel like it.
No, you might not make the best work every time you show up, but you’ll never make the best work if you don’t show up.
And once you’ve established a practice, you earn trust in yourself. It’s not a motivational quote on the wall, it’s the blue-collar mentality to keep going, even on the worst of days.
I’ve done my best to live this concept. I draw every day, except on days that I don’t. Fortunately, I’ve built up a lot of trust in myself over the past few years. I had to “reboot” and start my streak from scratch shortly before my daughter was born, right after my grandfather passed away, but I got back to my practice as quickly as I could manage through the grief and stress.
Because I wanted to rebuild that trust in myself. Even very recently, after my daughter was born, I was facing challenges to that trust in myself. Having a newborn at home with two siblings is a challenge — there have definitely been bumps in the road. But I’ve been showing up every day, even if it’s for the minimum amount of time and effort to make a baby step forward.
I’ve learned that if you put in the work, the results MIGHT follow. At least when you put in the work you increase the odds of results happening. Because the odds of “it” happening are zero if there’s no effort involved.