Self doubt and roller derby

January 7th 2015, I turned 25. If you read my last post, you will see that this year I am trying to implement a new more positive attitude in everything I do in life. Now I am 25, I feel even more like a real adult (who still enjoys the birthday presents based on Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks characters…!!), and being a real adult for me means becoming more my own person, a stronger person, an older wiser me. Sort of…


One thing I really struggle with is self doubt. I am a socially awkward person who has never really fit into the generic cliques and is often judged on the fact that I tend to be more on the quiet side. I have grown up as the odd one out at school and most hobbies I have taken part in, I have been bullied by girls and boys alike, I do find it hard to trust people and make friends. In roller derby you would be surprised at how many of us are socially awkward and do have issues with anxiety. Because of my issues with self doubt and social anxiety and awkwardness, I am constantly thinking negatively about my social interactions and what others think about me. It has also affected me a little in roller derby. I have worried I am making the wrong moves or I have been scared to screw it all up for my team, I fear that people don’t like me and that I must be an annoyance or not worth their time, often anxious about starting a conversation even though I’d really like to.

Now…I am extremely lucky to be a part of a league where I genuinely think all the ladies, for me personally, are lovely. Each woman I have met and am fortunate to say is now a part of my life, were lovely when I first joined and continue to be not only inspirations, but so awesomely friendly and supportive. (As are the gents of our league too.) At the end of the day this group of strong women (or men if you are a male derby player) are there as part of your team, as a team they do not want you think a move may have a negative outcome in terms of you thinking they may react badly. It shouldn’t happen, it may in rare situations happen, but it should not happen. It just should not. Every decision has an outcome, whatever the outcome is should be treated as a learning curve whether positive or negative. With roller derby, the main reason you are there is to skate. Simples. Everything else that comes along with roller derby is a bonus, there may be other aspects such as the friends you make which affects your decision to commit more than just skating does, but generally most people come to roller derby to try something new and to skate. And more often than not, they come away with so much more. Even though the people surrounding you are different people, the end game is the same, they want to be their best, you want to be your best, they want you to be your best too. This means supporting you and helping you grow as a skater, some may be more forthcoming than others but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to see you succeed! Even though we compete together as well as against each other for spots, we want what is for the good of the team. Without that focus on the team, there is no point in competing. The last thing this group of people want for you, is to doubt yourself. There are a small few in my league who genuinely get how much I really don’t believe in myself or feel like I’m good enough to be there, they know how much I doubt myself. But without blowing smoke up my ass, they make me believe I might just be able to do this.

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Self doubt is a vicious thing, it is difficult to get past. I’m not saying you can doubt yourself then suddenly thing you are the bomb, because that mentality is unhealthy and misses out a big healing process. At the end of the day, your team needs you, especially on boutday, they need to trust you to make decisions and commit to them and the jam regardless of the outcome. But this means that you first need to trust in yourself. Believe in yourself. Changing your way of thinking is no easy feat, there is no overnight fix, especially when you consider thoughts on yourself and your own performance.

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So what if I fail? If. “If.” No-one is perfect and everyone has a moment where they make the wrong decision and fails at something, but it is all a question of “if” – now I place the word if into quotation marks because it is just a word I’m not keen on. Especially when “if” is proceeded by the word “what” – the Questioning. The questioning is the biggest part of self doubt. Once you start to question yourself, that is when doubt takes over. A big part of overcoming self doubt is to stop questioning yourself, just stop. If you start questioning yourself, then take a moment, tell yourself whatever is going to happen, will happen. You can learn from it, you can learn from the good and learn from the bad. If you really insist on questioning yourself? Ask yourself this – what if I’m awesome?

I am beginning with the aspiration of being a more decisive person this year. I need to make a decision and stick with it. Am I going to have pizza or chicken for dinner? Am I going to make a move on the pack? Am I going to go offensive? I have constantly questioned myself and dwindled on the what ifs and buts, I have been missing out. I have missed out on the small triumphs, the positive things, the learning curves. Remember, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This sticks for everything. It can go bad or it can go well, but you need to make the mistakes to learn from them, and make the choices so you can improve and expand your experience and take it away for next time. Think to yourself, screw it. Just do it. Like your team need to trust you, you need to trust them. At the end of the day no-one should shout or ridicule you if it goes wrong, you are always growing as a person and skater whether it is your skating ability, game knowledge, general strategy, you continue to move forward even when it doesn’t feel like it. If it goes wrong, learn from it, if it goes right then awesome! Every small triumph is one step closer to a stronger you. It is time to stop being afraid, to stop doubting yourself, you are stronger than you realize.

So now I am 25 and am aspiring for a more positive and decisive outlook on life, I intend to grab life by the horns this year. I missed out on quite a bit last year and I have found myself coming to a point where I don’t want to let myself miss another moment. This year I feel ready to take on everything that is thrown my way, roller derby, music, life.. I want to train hard and work my butt off. I want to be happy and enjoy all the moments. I want to succeed and be more this year.

For now I will leave you with this…… til next time little blue monsters x



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