I’ve never really had much ‘ambition.’ I worked hard in school and I work hard in my job and yes, ideally I want to progress, but if I’m put in a competitive race with other people, I normally prefer to take myself out of it. I’ve written before about struggling with finding a sense of self.
I used to want to be a journalist, and when I got to uni I realised I had never even tried to get experience for this. Compare that to my best friend, who had got work experience in PR since her early teens, and I felt like a bit of a failure. Now I could have really pushed myself here to get experience, the uni had plenty of papers I could write for, but I just decided there was no way I could do it. When papers or magazines ask you to pitch a story, I clammed up, and would doubt my ability to provide worthwhile content. So I didn’t push myself, or challenge myself.
Now, I have a blog, and I love it, but I don’t know if I have the drive to succeed. At the end of last year I got my first paid blog post and that felt like a massive stepping stone for me, and I knew I needed to keep the momentum going, so I kept having massive breaks in blog posts. I abandoned Instagram and Twitter. I took myself out of the race, like I always do.
I think my issue is that I like doing things without observation. As soon as someone is assessing me, or even just watching me, I shrink away. Even playing piano as a teenager, I would shout at anyone trying to sneakily listen. Part of my anxiety is the intense fear of making a mistake – of fucking up – so if I end up in a situation where I am likely to lose, I don’t even try. I wouldn’t say I’m a pessimistic person, because most of the time I can be an annoying optimist, but I always have an overhanging doubt for my own abilities. Recently, I should have been pushing myself in the evenings after work to achieve stuff – to work on my blog, to figure stuff out so I can take it further, but instead I would lie in my bed watching Friends and then go to sleep. Since I was 17/18 I have wanted to learn guitar, but always abandon it because it is ‘too hard,’ but really I’m just scared of failing, so again, I don’t try.
I am scared I don’t have the drive necessary to make it in this world. I don’t have a driving ambition to get me somewhere, there is nothing in the world I have ever felt truly motivated to do. After spending years at school being told how clever I was, and how good I was at stuff, suddenly I was thrust into a world where school achievements didn’t mean anything, and without exams I had nothing to aim for anymore. I had never spend time cultivating ambition for going further than just getting As, and I’m paying for it now. Is this a habit I can kick in its lazy, unambitious butt – or am I going to be stagnant forever?
What I’m wearing:
Coat: My Grandad’s
Jeans: New Look (similar)