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Fear of Self-doubt

by Hkumar

It all starts when I am alone,
my greatest enemy returns
that I have always known.
It's the pang of self-doubt ,
bringing my spirits down again.

These voices come from
somewhere within.
It's a moment where my insecurities
are no longer a low hum.
I discover a whole new shade of
self inflicted doubts.

I lose opportunities
by fearing to attempt.
I hate,
I worry,
I regret,
Am I enough?

I try to fight this voice back;
it is self-confidence that I lack.
Seeds of painful past dwell
within my dying heart.

Maybe its the overthinking I do.
Covering my thoughts
with negative space;
reaching into darkness
where the only light I see
are the ghosts of self-doubts.

I yell to escape from it
putting a smile across my face,
hiding the painful thoughts in silence.
Taking my mind to a different place
I remember those days of excellence,
when I fought this traitor with patience.

I feel the strength rising,
realising the warmth of light
creeping in through the cracks.
In my mind, I shout !
No, no, no,
we are not going down that road again.

I disrupt the thought pattern,
to stop that inner self-doubter
from taking over me again.

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27 Reviews

Points: 148
Reviews: 27

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:21 pm
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MadagascarMaiden wrote a review...

Hi, MadagascarMaiden popping in for a review!!
I love this poem. It expresses exactly how I feel sometimes. The formatting, it is simple but appealing to look at. And just the right amount of punctuation. I love the way you describe the feeling of self-doubt. I could never have done it myself, even though I am a good poet. Keep up the good work. :-)

Hkumar says...

Thank you @MadagascarMaiden for the appreciation !

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7 Reviews

Points: 265
Reviews: 7

Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:02 am
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highflyer wrote a review...

Wow, I really liked reading this. So many of the lines you wrote conveyed feelings and emotions that I wouldn't even know how to put into words, let alone beautiful poetry. I particularly loved that line, "I lose opportunities by fearing to attempt." Like, that line hit hard for me. I understood perfectly what feelings you were trying to get across when reading this. I also really loved the ending, as well. It was like a mixture of inspirational and uplifting. Once again, it was just a pleasure to read. I loved it a lot!

Keep up the good work!

- Highflyer <<

Hkumar says...

Thank you so much !

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525 Reviews

Points: 27067
Reviews: 525

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:16 am
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Tuckster wrote a review...

Hey there Hkumar! Tuck dropping by with a review for you today.

Overall, you used some strong description here by using specific verbs and nouns. I found that to be the strongest part of your poem, and it's ultimately what I took away from the novel. You had a focused message that was communicated well throughout, and I felt like I could relate to it. Those two elements were strong throughout and well-done, so now I'm going to jump into a bit of critique.

Firstly, I noticed that you didn't have any stanzas; or at least, had nothing to signify that there was a stanza change. Personally, I prefer to notate this by using single-spaced lines (you can do this in YWS publishing center by holding Shift and Enter), but you can also use tildes, dashes, or really anything else to notate them. When you don't use stanzas, it makes it harder for the reader to know when to pause. This causes problems with rhythm, which makes it difficult to read this poem out loud. Furthermore, it's harder to have a progression of thought and character development throughout since there's no breaks or pauses in the narrative.

Secondly, there was a lot of variation in your line lengths that also threw off the rhythm slightly. While they don't all have to be the exact same syllabication and you can always take creative liberties, it is good to be aware of it and use it to your advantage. I felt like that aspect was missing from your story, which is something you could have used to strengthen your poem.

Hopefully this was helpful, and if you have any questions for me I'd be happy to answer them! This was an enjoyable read and a well-written poem, and I hope you continue writing! Best of luck to you :)


Hkumar says...

Thanks @Tuck for the review and the encouragement. I am happy that you could relate with the poem . I will keep in my mind all the points that you mentioned and improve my skills. :)

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119 Reviews

Points: 10789
Reviews: 119

Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:39 pm
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Clairia wrote a review...

Hi, there! I'm @Clairia, here with a review!

This piece definitely hits me on a very personal level. I have struggled with issues regarding self doubt in the past and even now; it can be very difficult to view yourself in a good light when you're convinced that the people around you don't think highly of you. It's a monster many of us find ourselves battling at some point in our lives, but it's something that I believe very strongly we can overcome as a society with the right steps.
But until that day comes, let's have a look at your work :)

It all starts when I am alone,

my greatest enemy returns

that I have always known.

This was an interesting start for me. Self doubt by itself can be very sneaky, but you're introducing the idea that it's always there. That's something to think about for the average reader; something for them to consider whilst going over your piece. Anxiety, which can go hand-in-hand with this type of feeling, is a similar concept. You're aware you have it and that it's disrupting your thought process at its convenience, but it often attacks when you least expect it, and that can certainly be when you're alone. As someone with anxiety and feelings of self doubt myself, I've found that the two usually coincide; and it can be at any specific time. I don't have to be alone. I can be with a group of my closest friends and it'll show up absolutely out of the blue. This sort of thing can cause you to start to question all the memories and trust you've built with them. Your brain starts to convince you that your flaws define your personality, which you elaborate a bit on here-

May be its the overthinking I do.

Covering my thoughts with negative space;

This definitely starts to explore that negative path that your brain goes down while experiencing self doubt. I can see and understand the pain that you're experiencing; and I think it's very important that you put your work out in the open like this. That's a very hard thing to do.

In terms of technical issues in your poem, there are a few things I'd like to point out.
You have a few grammatical errors, but tgham99 seemed to point those out for you, so I won't go over them again ;).
I did notice that in the beginning of your piece you seemed to be going for some sort of rhyme scheme, but as the poem continued, it faded. You had some words that looked like they could have worked together, but overall the consistency just wasn't there. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about--
It's the pang of self-doubt ,

bringing my spirits down again.

These voices come from

somewhere within.

I remember those days of excellence,

when I fought this traitor with patience.

As you can see, "again" / "within" and "excellence" / "patience" don't really match well :(. I can see how that may be a bit confusing, especially since the words look so similar, but if you say them out loud (or even just think how the word is actually pronounced while writing) you'll be able to tell. The piece seems to be a little chunky in terms of stanza breaks, and there isn't too much of a flow. However, as tgham99 suggested, you may want to simply blend the stanzas into one passage.

Overall, I think you've done a really good job. Those technical issues really aren't a huge deal; you've written such a beautiful piece! Thanks so much for spreading awareness about this topic. All of us are rooting for you!

Thanks for sharing (and keep writing!)

Hkumar says...

Thank you so much for such an appreciation @Clairia . I am happy that you were able to understand the true emotions behind this topic. I had to face this problem before the start of my college life and still experience it every now and then. Sometimes it becomes so difficult for us to gather the strength to overcome our fears. Though I try my best to keep these miseries away by putting on a happy face and fighting my inner demons.
I hope and pray that you too will always stand strong against these probelms and be positive.:)
Again thank you for such an explicit and honest review and I will consider all your points to improve myself as a writer.

Clairia says...

It was my pleasure!

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111 Reviews

Points: 9075
Reviews: 111

Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:28 am
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tgham99 wrote a review...

This is a very powerful poem that tackles a message that unfortunately a lot of people can relate to. I'm not sure why but I love the fact that you used the phrase "self inflicted doubts"; it stood out to me a lot.

In terms of suggestions for improvement, I would start with just a few grammar and spelling issues for the sake of consistency and smoothness of the way the poem reads. One example is when you use "its" rather than "it's", and the punctuation is a bit choppy (sometimes commas are used instead of semicolons or vice versa). I also found it a bit difficult to read with a steady rhythm because you switched between past and present tense, which is just a general rule of thumb with writing that will help a lot with future poems/pieces.

In terms of structure, I actually like that you kept the poem as one long continuation of the narrator's train of thought rather than breaking it up into different stanzas.

The poem itself is incredibly intense and kept me engaged the entire time that I was reading, though the last small suggestion I have is to maybe edit the ending a little bit to avoid a more cushy/cliche line ("I needed to believe in myself"). The poem as a whole, though, is wonderful and you have a good foundation for evoking emotion from the reader!!

I hope this was helpful and I'm excited to see more of your writing <3

Hkumar says...

Thanks for the review. I am glad that you liked it. I will take care of the points you mentioned . It will really help me to improve my writing skills.

"Who am I? I'm just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future."
— Richard Siken