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The Work Journal Series: Self-Doubt Is Your Best Tool

Written by Diyana J, 16th July 2021

There has never been a better motivator in my life, than self-doubt. The slight anxiety and panic that settles in after weeks of writer’s block – it’s been a life changing time for me these few months. Here’s the truth; in January 2021, I was just a waitress. Fast forward to July 2021, I am now a writer, blogger, content creator and social media manager for Urban Salvation. We’ve also announced last week that Urban Salvation will have a sister company focused on production and media marketing to help Singapore’s local businesses and makers promote their businesses. Irfan (our in-house photographer) and I will be spearheading the company.

From the year 2018 till 2021, I jumped from one corporate job to another, hoping to cash in big pay cheques to look after myself and my family. Looking back, I’ve been filled with self-doubt from the day I graduated from Temasek Polytechnic. I’d never been sure if this corporate career path was what I should have chosen. Point is – I chose what served me financially but not what would add onto the quality of my life in the end.

Photographed by Irfan Rosli

Ahmad and I had recently sat down with our newest Junior Writer Hanafiee, and spoke to him about his chosen career path. He’d talked about going ahead with the knowledge and experience he’s gathered from his diploma in Landscape Design and Horticulture, pursuing a career that would be relevant. I respect him on many levels. The team has asked him countless questions spontaneously about indoor plants- and how to care for each type, woods and their uses, all that you can think of, - and he’s answered them with full confidence. It showed in conversation, that his passion shone through, though now he is riddled with self-doubt as well when it comes to his career path.

Self-doubt is a tool to me because it keeps my mind racing in the middle of the morning at three a.m. Believe me or not, I write in my head before physically pressing the keys on this keyboard. I form sentences without getting a blink of sleep, and soon those sentences form paragraphs, then these paragraphs turn into a strong skeleton on which I’d build my article upon. This self-doubt I have in my writing ability has forced me to read countless articles, research videos, come up with various angles on different articles, and for weeks my head draws a blank if I am not satisfied with any of my ideas. Till that one night, where I write the skeleton of three different blogs in my head.

Photographed by Irfan Rosli

Self-doubt has fuelled me in channelling all of my effort into the actual self-realization that no idea will be perfect. Hanafiee has taught me this. As a team, we’ve sat down and talked about how to reform Urban Writes into something that’s more engaging and fun. I realize that I take my writing too seriously and stress myself out in a repetitive cycle. He’s highlighted to me time and time again, that engaging content is also content that shows progress, variety and that it’s possible to showcase informative content in an informal way. He’s inspired me to write this blog, even, I’ll admit that.

The difference between my corporate job experiences and my current working environment at Urban Salvation is obvious; I am not alone. The job culture here encourages ideas, opens opportunities, fuels communication in the form of disagreements and the repetitive process of “what can we do next, and how do we do it better?” The focus has never been to carry out a task and produce optimal results. There’s a mutual trust that we have in our small team that each and every member is putting their best foot forward, and most importantly show unlimited amounts of passion in each of our respective roles.

I’ve been recently listening to Chris Do’s TheFutur Podcast and the episode that stood out to me most was titled; “Tapping into your Subconscious” to create concepts and solve creative problems. He spoke about his personal experience of instructing his brain to work in his sleep. Odd, isn’t it? But it works. Before he sleeps, he tells himself to work whilst his physical body rests. By the time he wakes up, ideas come piling out and he jots them down quickly to not lose sight of them. I relate his experience to what I had conclusively done this week. I stored up all of the necessary information in my head pertaining to my chosen topic, allowed my physical body to rest and then visualized myself writing away in my head. The cause of this time-saving creative process? Self-doubt.

In other words, I transformed what could have brought me down, into a positive energy that fuelled me. Again, this was only possible because of the fact that I am surrounded by people of different backgrounds each with different dreams and goals, working unanimously towards creating a community that work to lift each other up. Because when we do, we believe in bringing this small, humble company up together. I am proud to be part of a team that criticizes me, engages me, encourages me, and ultimately bring out the best in me.

Being a part of the Urban Salvation team has genuinely changed my life.


Photos by Irfan Rosli (@_roniin)

Location: Urban Salvation Main Gallery

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