Spell Saab
Photo by Miggy Abesamis of Ballast Photography using expired Verichrome Pan

Photo by Miggy Abesamis of Ballast Photography using expired Verichrome Pan

Self-sabotage

“You can’t do it.”

“Why bother?”

“You’re not good enough.”

“What you’re doing isn’t important.”

You’ve heard it at some point in your life: that voice at the back of your mind telling you that your idea is stupid. That stupid voice has resurfaced to remind me that I’m incredibly incompetent. It tells me that there are other people writing about more important things. I am always just a blogger. I don’t deserve readership. I’m not making a difference.

I hadn’t heard from this particular voice in a while so I wondered why it was making a comeback. It was supposed to disappear along with teenage angst, but here it was again trying to leave scars worse than teenage acne.

Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who knows exactly when I’m not feeling a hundred percent.

He asked me last night if there was something bothering me. He said he noticed that I hadn’t published anything on my blog lately. We got to talking and he seemed to know what I needed to hear even before I opened up to him. He reminded me of his struggles about leaving his corporate job and finally get into business.

I knew this story. He sought advice from his dad, the brilliant Gerry Bacarro, and he was told to put a face to the nay-saying voice in his head. For whatever reason, Jim saw a certain person he’d known all his life. I know the guy. He’s definitely not an evil person per se, but he’s the typical bully who laughs at your dreams and aspirations while he’s blowing his parents’ money on bottles of vodka ~*in da club*~.

Papa Gerry then asked Jim to imagine himself in a room full of the people who cheer him on. I was there. His family was there. Our band was there. The room was full. Then he was told to imagine that bully in the same room. His taunts were inaudible and Jim barely noticed him. Did the guy — a guy he only saw once in a blue moon at reunions — really matter to Jim? No. Because the people who matter would never laugh at his dream, even if it was different from their own.

Last night, I identified the voice I’d been hearing.

The girl was somebody I’d wanted to impress. She’s so smart and funny but she’s critical of practically everybody. I didn’t want to be a basic bitch in her book. I was always giddy when she’d laugh at my jokes and when she’d praise me. She’s unimpressed with everything but I can make her laugh!! But then I realized — this person had always been so negative and unhappy. She’d let it slip more than once that celebrities are unimportant and undeserving. She could be one of the smartest, funniest persons I know but she’s also the loneliest. Insecurity doesn’t look good on anybody — I guess that’s why she loses friends quickly.

Jim told me to imagine my room full of my best friends, my family and his, my idols, my blog readers — all rooting for me to win. I don’t always have to post something life-changing or Pulitzer Prize-worthy. It’s when I don’t publish anything that I let that whole room down.

It’s Not You

“Silence your inner critic.”

“You are your worst critic.”

We always get these pieces of advice and it’s helpful, no doubt. But now I know that more often than not, it’s not my own voice telling me I can’t achieve something. It was probably implied by somebody and the seed was planted in my head. Very Inception. Let this blog post serve as your totem. Wake the F up.

As for the owner of the voice messing with my self-confidence — I’m sure she never actively meant to hurt me. I’m not mad at her at all, I’ve just decided that I don’t need to try and impress her anymore. Instead, I pray she finally puts a face to the voice telling her she’s not all that. I wish she kicks that party crasher hard out of her room. “NOBODY INVITED YOU, YA LITTLE BITCH.”

We may never be able to silence that voice completely, but we sure can drown it out with a room full of cheerful voices. Let that choir sing and please allow me to be in your room (as creepy as that request may sound). Here’s a gentle reminder: you can do it.


Saab

Saab

51 Comments

  1. Reply

    Coi

    April 27, 2016

    Good read! :) Anyway, I think this is the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve read that phrase ‘you can do it’, and maybe it is a sign already! Lol! So yes, I am now 100% that Imma do it! Whatever that is! Lol kidding! Just a little ‘business’ I’ve been planning on doing since last year! HAHAHA ang tagal na!! Thanks for sharing! ;)

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 27, 2016

      YAYYY

  2. Reply

    Carisse

    April 27, 2016

    “Just a blogger” hit me hard. I can relate to this, as this is what I had been feeling for the past couple of weeks. I don’t have the fanciest things to post about, I don’t have a lot of readers, but what’s important is I have my friends’ support; cheering me up and inspiring me to work more for it. ?

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 27, 2016

      <3

  3. Reply

    Coi

    April 27, 2016

    PS
    Whenever you feel down, just remember you are loved by many, Saab! <3 Never mind the negative vibes (lol that kinda rhymes hahaha)

  4. Reply

    glendadecastro

    April 27, 2016

    Hello ate saab. Ang ganda po ng blog nyo, inspiring. Actually this post is literally me po ganto din po ako eh. Hihi! By the way, may alam po ba kyong mgandang theme sa wordpress? Salmat po ate saab. Godbless! Love you!! ❤

  5. Reply

    Pearl

    April 27, 2016

    This is perfectly what I need today and everytime that “voice” will resurface. Thanks, Saab! <3

  6. Reply

    Jecca

    April 27, 2016

    Thanks for this, Saab. We can do it! ❤️

  7. Reply

    Nini

    April 27, 2016

    Sa lahat ng blog mo, this is my fave! Kaya pala matagal kang walang posts. Anyway, you’re doing a great job as a blogger and sa lahat ng ginagawa mo! Hay Saab.. We love you. ok? :)

  8. Reply

    Cali

    April 27, 2016

    Great post, Saab! Thanks for the reminder. You know what, (share ko lang, hehe) Iniisip ko talaga mag-diet diva, pero at the same time, the voice inside my head too keeps telling me “Wag na” and “Pang shopping mo nalang yang pera mo”. (Hahaha!) And, I’ve been putting my health at the lowest priority in my life and I keep putting more and more weight. Ang sad di ba! So, this post, I claim is my sign to GO FOR IT! Love you Saab!

    P.S. Please write more! Hehehe

  9. Reply

    Zeia Valencia

    April 27, 2016

    I actually teared up while reading this because I’ve always been insecure… I grew up believing that I was never good enough for anything. Thank you for your words, Saab. I actually felt a little better. See? With just your words you could change someone’s perspective. You’ve always been my life peg and I just want to let you know that a lot of people look up to you. Love you!!! xx

  10. Reply

    Allyson Mendoza

    April 27, 2016

    I LOVE YOU SAAB!! ?❤

  11. Reply

    Jen

    April 27, 2016

    I needed this. Thank you. <3

  12. Reply

    Liz

    April 27, 2016

    You are not “just a blogger”, you inspire tons of readers (including me) who love and admire you just the way you are. Been a fan of yours since 2010 and watching your Sandbox play and have picture taken with you is one of the highlights of my 2015. Cheer up Saab, you are truly beautiful inside out. ❤

  13. Reply

    janine

    April 27, 2016

    Thank you Saab for this. This is exactly what I need to hear now. I love you. Just want you to know that you saved a girl’s life. May God bless you always! :*

  14. Reply

    Nadine

    April 27, 2016

    Is it a little weird that I was tearing up while reading this?

  15. Reply

    Fam

    April 27, 2016

    You’ve touched the hearts of your readers by simply being YOU. You inspired me to be JUST ME, no need to impress everyone.
    We love you SAAB.

  16. Reply

    rj

    April 28, 2016

    This made me teary-eyed, pulled on my heartstrings. You are human after all. Sometimes we forget that celebrities are humans too and we tend to be more critical of you. I’ve followed your blog for a few years now and I’ve noticed these meltdowns you go through every once in a while. It’s when you get quiet that I know something must be going on. And I’ve always admired your relationship with Jim, that you can cry to him about your insecurities.

    I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment here before but I just want to say this post is so human and so relatable. And that bully who keeps coming back, I also have that in my life, always trying to stop me from doing what I want and from braving my insecurities. It’s hard to not care about what other people think but you’re right, what matters is the people you love (and your readers) support you no matter what. So, thank you for this. You’re awesome, Saab! <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 28, 2016

      Thank you so much :)

  17. Reply

    Essie

    April 28, 2016

    That’s a great idea. Starting from now, I will always imagine a room with all my loved ones cheering me on lalo na sa down moments. We can do this. Thanks Saab <3

  18. Reply

    Bee

    April 28, 2016

    We missed you, Saab! Thanks for this inspiring post. <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 28, 2016

      You’re welcome <3

  19. Reply

    Karly

    April 28, 2016

    Just what I needed Saab. Thank you <3

  20. Reply

    Becca

    April 28, 2016

    Your post made me wonder if I’m the ‘bully’ for other people.
    Thank you for the reminder to focus on the positive, and to strive to be the ‘positive voice’ for others.
    All the best.

  21. Reply

    Pat

    April 28, 2016

    Very very true, everyone has some form of that inner bully. I wish that everyone has that wisdom that you just shared, thank you very much for being generous with it!

  22. Reply

    Cass

    April 28, 2016

    Ang ganda! </3 this is something I've been feeling for a while–parang umaatake siya paminsan-minsan, and those days are the worst. Needed to read this. Thank you, Saab <3

  23. Reply

    K

    April 28, 2016

    I started blogging in 2006. Pero mga lyrics lang ng fave songs ko posts ko nun LOL. In 2011 (also the time I found your blog), I started getting serious about it mainly because I was scared I might lose my memories. Medyo makakalimutin na kasi ako (25 palang akels ngayon). I needed an avenue to keep my memories other than diaries kasi tamad akong magsulat. Hehe. But around 2013, wala na akong mapost. I got busy at kahit may gusto akong ikwento, I could not put it into writing. Though I wasn’t really bothered with readership kasi okay na sa akin yung BF ko lang makabasa hehe, yung self doubt & insecurities ko talaga lumalala. And the more I read other people’s blogs (yes, including yours LOL), the more I feel inutile. Huhuhu. I thought WHY CANT I BE AS ARTICULATE AS YOU GUYS?! In 2015, I deleted my almost 10 year old blog.

    Now I’m back to blogging using another blog platform for still the same reason. I only get to post once a month, edit my posts 100x upon publishing, and I am okay with it. Medyo nagsisi pa ako na hindi ako nagblog last year kasi ang daming ganap sa buhay ko pero sabi pa nga ni Basha, “kailangan ko to.” LOL.

    I hope you never doubt yourself again, Saab! You are awesome, with or without your blog (but dont you dare delete this ?) so don’t ever let that tiny voice win!

  24. Reply

    Jema

    April 28, 2016

    THANK YOU FOR THIS. <3

  25. Reply

    Lyka Sumido

    April 28, 2016

    Dear Saab :)

    I have always been a fan. I love you for all the things that you are especially your sincerity and candidness as a person. My friends and even my boyfriend know how obsessed I am with you. Haha. Anyway, it pains me to read this, to know that you’ve been hearing voices in your head, because to me, you are such an awesome person. It pains me also because I’ve been going through the same thing lately, questioning my worth and abilities. I’ve had all these little voices inside my head even until I fall asleep.

    I hope you feel better now. I am glad you have Jimwell with you to go through this and give you warm, loving hugs.

    We love you!! huuuuggggg

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 3, 2016

      HUGGGGG

  26. Reply

    Ynah

    April 28, 2016

    I LOVE YOU SAAB!!! YOU’RE OFFICIALLY MY LIFE PEG HUHU

  27. Reply

    Faye

    April 29, 2016

    Hi Saab! I actually have been wondering why you weren’t posting anything for a couple of weeks. Everyday I check your blog when I get to the office, find nothing new…and it’s sad, I miss reading your blog :p It’s kind of part of my everyday routine already. I actually find you inspiring and funny and smart and everything :p Well I’m just glad you’re back :D stronger than ever :D Keep inspiring us :D

  28. Reply

    Mikee G.

    April 29, 2016

    “It tells me that there are other people writing about more important things. I am always just a blogger. I don’t deserve readership. I’m not making a difference.”

    Perhaps there are “deeper” issues that need to be talked about from time to time but what makes your blog so exciting is the authenticity and sincerity of your words. No matter what you write about e.g. Kim Kardashian, self-esteem, etc.) people keep coming back to Spell Saab because your content is resonates with the everyday joys and struggles of everyday people. And that already makes all the difference. I hope you don’t lose sight of that :)

    • Reply

      Mikee G.

      April 29, 2016

      *your content resonates – sorry, typo :))

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 29, 2016

      Thank you so much for reminding me of that <3

  29. Reply

    Karen

    April 29, 2016

    You inspire me in so many ways, Saab! I really admire you and everything you do. Thank you for this. <3

  30. Reply

    jakii moon

    April 30, 2016

    the feels of not knowing if you’re “good enough” makes me weak and doubt myself. Tough as it may be, thank you for being able to realize what’s up and for sharing it with us, specially those who feels the same right now. <3 GO SAAB!!!!!!!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 3, 2016

      WOOHOO!!

  31. Reply

    Sanne

    April 30, 2016

    “What you’re doing isn’t important.” –but this is important esp to us, your readers. <3

    Cheer up Saab! We love you **very fangirl as it may sound lol**
    Sure i am not the only one who always checks your blog every single day. You inspire us big time, give us ideas and attitude! See! You are part of who we are now (wow?) haha! Sometimes, me and my friends will call each other just to ask ''hey nabasa mo na ung blog ni Saab?'' Ganern.. Evidently, you are so loved by your readers <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 3, 2016

      Thanks so much for this <3<3

  32. Reply

    violetology

    May 1, 2016

    Saab, I feel exactly the same way sometimes. When people at work realize I’m Asian, they say things like “Do you even know English?” People can really make you feel so small in this part of the world. Lalo na if they blast how I write :(

    Sometimes when I feel so incompetent, I remember our CW days, our genius blockmates and the things they’ve achieved, and I sit down to read your blog. You’ve been part of my UAE days :) Your blog makes a difference. Know that and keep on writing! ok?

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 3, 2016

      HEY VIOLET!! Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment!! Hope you’re doing great there in UAE. Asians rule!!<3

  33. Reply

    Coolen

    May 1, 2016

    There are three words that pop out of my mind while I read this post: I LOVE YOU Ate Saab! This is worth reading. :) I hope that everyone will have the courage to ditch that voice every time it makes noise. You’re awesome Ate Saab! Just keep doing what you love to do.

  34. Reply

    April

    May 4, 2016

    Saab, I just wanna share. You inspire me to write so much that I enrolled my self, finally, in a creative writing workshop being facilitated by Gang Badoy. So, thank you for being an inspiration. Know that you touch your reader’s lives in many and in your simplest ways :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 5, 2016

      That’s great!! Good luck and thank you for letting me know <3

  35. Reply

    Iky

    May 4, 2016

    Psalm 139:14. You’re awesome, Saab.

  36. Reply

    Aly

    May 4, 2016

    Hi, Ms. Saab! :)

    This is my first time reading your blog and I must say that this post got my attention. I tend to have some inferiority complex around my peers and it invades my mind whenever I try to do papers or even when I’m beating deadlines. Having read this post, I had my mind cleared and now I’m determined to do the best I can without having to compare and bring myself down. I really love this post and I want to thank you for sharing this :)

  37. Reply

    Keens

    May 13, 2016

    This is so beautiful. Thank you, Saab!

  38. Reply

    Grems

    May 13, 2016

    I feel like I have not told you this enough: YOUR BLOG’S THE BESTEST!! If you doubt yourself ever again, please know that you have been such a huge influencer in my life and your readers and we love you so much. I honestly feel like I grew up having you as my life example. Hahaha! I hope that you will never get tired of following your dreams and passion and I hope that you will never get sick of blogging. <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      May 15, 2016

      Love you!!!

  39. Reply

    Camille

    July 4, 2016

    This is an A+ piece! I really enjoyed reading it! Too many feels for this one :)

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