I’ve been through a real slump lately. It’s hard to keep my energy up, especially when I’m not seeing dramatic results.
HOWEVER, all is not lost. I have learned some things about myself and I think the more self-aware you the more productive you can be. It’s like being a mechanic and trying to fix a car. If you know how the car is built and what it needs you can get it going quicker and more efficiently than if you’ve never seen under the hood of a car and randomly hit things with a spanner hoping it will spring into life.
Lesson 1) I’m ridiculously easy to overwhelm.
Answer: Break things down in to really small chunks. Recognise small achievements. Stop trying to do so much.
Lesson 2) I’m very impatient
Answer: Look to the greats and see how long it took them. Or re-read my post on Patience and Perseverance.
Lesson 3) NO ONE is going to give me ‘permission’ to do the things I want to do.
Answer: Stop waiting for permission and make it happen.
This is what I want to focus on now. So far on my journey a lot of people have said ‘That is not possible/realistic’. Some people are supportive and tell me to go for it. My mentors (via courses/books/websites/blogs) are saying ‘We’ve already done it and so can you!’
I’m thinking it’s possible because they’ve told me and they’ve given me indirect permission to chase dreams. However, whenever I have a new idea I always look to see if it’s been done before and if it hasn’t I mope and bite my bottom lip and wish I had someone to talk to about it.
Tonight, as I got out my car, I was enjoying another mini taste of freedom. I was on my own, was doing what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. Walking back to my flat I felt like my freedom was dissolving around me as I heard the usual neighbours shouting angrily at each other, a baby crying somewhere and music blaring. I started feeling trapped again and worried about the future and when I could finally move to a nicer neighbourhood and be free.
Then something occurred to. I need to STOP asking for permission, even from the people I admire. Just because something hasn’t been done (YET!) doesn’t mean it can’t be done at all. Maybe someone else who tried it didn’t have what I have, maybe the time wasn’t right, the audience wasn’t ready or the resources not available. I realised that in some ways I was holding myself back. This is not a new idea, many other people have thought of it before me. But I am also learning that unless an idea strikes you just right and you learn it for yourself, it doesn’t influence you as much.
I need to STOP:
- asking for permission
- restricting my thinking
- listening to negative people
- thinking I need to be given the green light to even try
- trying to conform to other people’s expectations
- trying to do things the way everyone else does them
Who is anyone else to give me permission to chase my goals?!
Judy Garland once urged us to ‘always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.’ For a long time I thought ‘Easy for her to say.’ For people who are talented and successful of course they are happy to be themselves.
Then one day recently I was reading ‘Be a Free Range Human’ by Marianne Cantwell and for some reason, the message just clicked.
Marianne talked about how as a coach she felt restricted when she wasn’t being herself. Once she relaxed and coached using her personality instead of hiding it, not only did she enjoy herself more, but her clients appreciated it too.
I realised that I haven’t done a lot of things because I couldn’t be like the people I admire. If I couldn’t deliver a deliver a comedic line like Ellen Degeneres or write like Pat Conroy what was the point of even trying? A huge weight lifted off me when I realised the whole point wasn’t to try and be like Ellen Degeneres or Pat Conroy but to be me! All this time I’ve been trying to repress my personality but I should be using it as a strength.
Now I feel a lot more excited to create stuff. I can do what I like without trying to be like someone else. It feels great!