I looked for some inspiration by reading a book, watching TV or from simple conversations with friends and family, but to no avail. It can be so hard sometimes to find some inspiration that I often wonder whether I am cut out for this.
Weigh my insecurity
I question my ability and my confidence starts to dwindle. Am I intelligent enough? Do I even have the required skill? I'm no expert - will I sound boring? Would anyone even want to read my work? Will the final product be good enough? I scratch my head, ponder on some stuff, kick my feet, hit backspace on my keyboard, get inspired, and get discouraged. 'What if' scenarios surface and endlessly spin inside my head. What if I write something that will come back and bite me someday? What if the message I am trying to portray comes across wrong? Am I good enough?
These feelings of insecurity are not uncommon. I feel quite vulnerable to a certain degree. After all, it will be my name that will be attached to this work, out on the Internet for everyone to read, criticize, love or hate. I also feel a sense of great responsibility and at times, it scares me. I have heard many artists and professionals confess that they always feel a little nervous whenever they need to perform or show their work.
Exposing their work to scrutiny can be challenging in that people will judge the very work that they're passionate about, and it may not be so easy to listen to the critics.
I also know that sometimes I foolishly compare myself to others. I think there are so many other people that do a much better job than I, so what makes me think anyone would be interested in what I have to say? But am I just using this train of thought as a scapegoat?
When God commanded Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites (who were being held as slaves) out of Egypt, Moses' first response was to say "who am I, that I should go…" [Ex 3 verse 11]. Moses' self-abasement continues when he goes on to mention that he had never been eloquent and was slow in speech and tongue [Ex 4 verse 10]. He even went as far as asking God to send someone else to perform the task.
I think that Moses in a sense felt afraid to do what he had been asked. He seemed rather unsure of himself. But God knew exactly who Moses was and also what needed to be done. God reassured Moses that He would help him speak, and teach him what to do. Moses wasn't going to be alone. God would be his continual guide.
Refocus towards the goal
On occasion, I know I fail to consider this: Do these artists' feelings (e.g. of insecurity) stop them from going ahead and completing their work, or do these feelings overwhelm them so much so that they hinder their ability to complete their work? I have come to recognise that I can either decide to let these feelings cripple me or I can decide to focus on the goal at hand, and devise a way to achieve that goal.
There are so many things I know I cannot do in my own strength. I don't think I'm meant to find that strength within me, but within God who lives in me. That nervous feeling I feel has become a reminder that I cannot do this on my own, but that I am relying on God to do His work through me. I guess in a way, it helps me to remain humble. My heart needs to be in the right place.
One thing I know is this: whenever I write, my hope is that the words I write can start an honest conversation, will speak to someone in a way that is encouraging, and in some way lead people to Christ. My hope is that God can use me and the gifts that He has given me to bless others. Not that I may gain recognition, but that God may be glorified.
I recognise that these feelings of insecurity, anxiousness are only but human, but I shouldn't let them get the better of me. Being overly concerned about what others may think, or not being good enough, or playing 'what if' scenarios will not help me move forward. I need to ask God for wisdom.
When God asks us to complete a task, be rest assured that He will equip us with all the right tools to complete the task. He will lead us so long as we walk with Him. All that He asks us to do is continue to trust in Him to lead us. Maybe being vulnerable wouldn't sound so bad if I knew it was going to help someone else in the long run.
So maybe the question I need to ask myself is not whether I am good enough, but am I willing to allow God to do His work through me.
Kandima Awendila was born in Mozambique and lives and works as an IT Service Desk Engineer on the Gold Coast.
Kandima Awendila's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/kandima-awendila.html