“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” ~ Molière
I realise I have already broken my posting once a week rule, but it is with good reason! MB and I had an utterly blissful week in Iceland, and I have been trying desperately to write a post that does it justice. In addition to having a lot to write about, finding the right words has been difficult. I didn’t want to just rush a post up that would irritate me later, so I held fire until I had another idea in the mean time.
Today’s train of thought was borne of my regular habit of posting positive quotes on my Instagram and Facebook. I first started doing this when I initially signed up as a Younique presenter and the training encouraged sharing uplifting posts to help boost your own mindset at the beginning of each day.
It began with relatively little thought into the content, just picking out something that sounded nice. And I would often miss a day where I’d simply forget, but I still posted regularly enough that people would notice if I missed more than a couple on the bounce. Over the last couple of years, I’ve received so many messages of thanks for my daily posts that have given people encouragement when they’ve needed it most, it’s truly remarkable. This reaffirmed to me that it’s an important part of my daily ritual that I should continue with.
To combat my absentmindedness, I’ve tried preparing multiple posts in advance, having 10-15 quotes sat in my camera roll at any one time and a daily alarm to remind me, but it just didn’t feel authentic. So much of what I am about is instinctive, and whilst these beautiful sayings were undoubtedly uplifting, oftentimes trying to pick one out was a like being told to choose between a pineapple and a banana when all you really want is an orange; they’re all good for you, but only you know what you want.
I am now selecting my quote when I wake up based on my mood. I give myself 5-10 minutes whilst doing the pups morning routine to summon a word or a feeling to mind, and from there I look for a quote centred on that idea. Some would argue this isn’t the best use of my time, that preparation will streamline my morning and set me up for the day with better intentions. Whilst I don’t disagree, for this particular task it just doesn’t work for me. My daily posts are as much for my own benefit as anyone else and I need to listen to my gut as my emotions are unfolding each morning.
This morning I felt limited. Although this word usually has negative connotations, I found it more ambiguous. With a furrow between my brows as I dished out the dog biscuits, I tossed the word around my brain a few times and pondered what the limitations were that stirred uncertainly in the pit of my stomach. One clear word sprang to mind:
It was like a stinging slap to the face. I am the one that is holding myself back. I am the one that looks for other jobs to do when I know I should be writing or messaging my clients. I am the one that makes excuses for staying in bed or puts off productivity in favour of scrolling through Instagram.
And I also know why I do it. Avoidance behaviour is a common coping mechanism for people with anxiety, it’s our way not dealing with the stresses we know or are concerned will arise in a certain situation. Personally speaking, this translates to my worries around pissing my clients off, letting people down, being told no, and the biggie, receiving negative criticism about my book once it’s published.
The nutshell version: I worry about not being good enough. At anything.
So I hide and avoid and procrastinate. Suddenly that pile of laundry looks mighty attractive when compared against finishing my book, a task which will open me up to a level of critique I have never experienced. My story that has lived in my head and my heart for more than half my life will be out in the public forum awaiting feedback and though I know I want this with every fibre of my being, every one of those fibres is also paralysed with fear.
It isn’t easy owning your truth, especially when that truth highlights your less favourable qualities, but recognising and accepting that I am my own worst saboteur is oddly empowering. I can’t blame anyone else for it, nor can I expect anyone else to create the fundamental shift in mindset that this is going to require. And whilst that thought alone is enough to make the fear dribble down my legs, it also places complete control back in my own hands – now THAT’S something I can get on board with!
This week marks the first of my new routine, working 2 days a week at my friends’ business with the other 5 days being spent on the various business activities. Although I’m actually in week 3 since leaving my old job (which is mental, by the way!), with the New Year and Iceland, my days have been all askew so far. My new reality begins now and I need to create some accountability for myself, so by the end of this week, I will have my Iceland blog finished and posted. I will also have a completed draft of the chapter I am currently working on, and I promise to confess my sins should I fail to meet these goals.
The moral of today’s musings is just to own your “you-ness”. Perfection is a myth and having flaws doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human. You are defined by how you overcome the obstacles that litter your path, not by the obstacles themselves.
Love & light, my beauties!