It's a cold, empty feeling, that not-having-faith-in-yourself feeling.
Especially in this bright-eyed American culture of mandatory optimism.
But some days, it's just not there. You don't feel worthy, you don't feel special, you don't feel like your projects are even worth your while, much less anyone else's while.
And you think, "I've got to generate more faith in myself. I must believe in myself more. I must increase my confidence!" And like a child making a wish, you squish your eyes closed and clench your fists and search in vain for even the slightest spark of faith, feeling evermore desolate.
Now anyone can tell you that eyes-closed-and-fists-clenched is no way to engage with the world.
And nothing destroys faith more quickly than a voice saying, "You've got to have faith in yourself!" Ugh.
(Much like the directive, "Be creative," a phrase that has the amazing power to instantly annihilate the creativity of every single person in earshot.)
Here's the good news: You don't need to generate faith.
You just need to accept it.
Faith is not something that you have find within, it is a gift that is given to you from without.
Faith has already been extended to you:
I have faith in you.
God (however you want to understand that word) has faith in you.
Your friends have faith in you.
Your customers, clients and students have faith in you.
Your favorite teachers have faith in you.
The flowers in the garden have faith in you.
Every newborn has faith in you.
All you need to do is open yourself up to OUR faith -- humbly accept our belief that you can do the work and do it well -- and begin.
You don't need to fake confidence yourself; you need to borrow confidence from us.
After all, we're pretty smart, and we know you pretty well, and truly, we have complete faith in you.
So open your eyes, open your hands and open your heart and allow yourself to feel the years and years of faith, confidence and praise that has been heaped upon you, and then, honey -- get to work.
The world needs your good work.