I get an idea. I get excited about it.
I sit down to do the work and it’s not long before my confidence wanes, my head gets cloudy and slowly but surely I’m saying “I can’t do it”.
So, I often quit.
You see, despite all the amazing self-exploration and personal development I’ve done, I still wrestle with a whole host of, what we call in the coaching world, limiting beliefs.
My particular fabric of beliefs is a weave of all the good, loving and empowering stuff and the painful and limiting bad ones. Those bad beliefs – they’re hard and mean. They make me feel restless and uncomfortable and stuck. They keep me from moving forward.
Recently, I’ve been wrestling with a huge debilitating belief about the blogging aspect of my new website.
And when I say debilitating, I am not kidding. Just ask my web designer. It was a looong, and drawn out process to get the fixed content out of me and into the pages of this site. Day after day of saying I’m going to get on this writing thing. And day after day of not getting on it.
And here I am again digging my heels in and quitting before I’ve even gotten started with writing blog posts. And it’s not for lack of ideas. I have a ton of them sitting half written in Evernote. 78 “shitty first drafts” to be exact.
So, why is that?
I believe I am not a writer.
I tell myself I am not good at it and being good is an absolute requirement according to Freddy, my lizard brain. (you’ll meet Freddy up close and personal very soon, I promise) I tell myself that I have no experience. I’ve decided it’s a struggle to find my words and the ones that do come, I second guess. Writing is painful. Writing is definitely not fun.
I resist it.
I avoid it.
I believe I am not a writer.
So, writing is hard. And because it’s hard and because I’ve decided I’m not a writer, I continue to not do it. I’m caught in a ridiculous loop of resistance and inaction that I created. Which leaves me feeling pretty stressed and anxious.
All that burden from a belief.
While I wasn’t writing, I decided to ask the experts what a writer is. According to dictionary.com a writer is: a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist. A person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing.
Imagine my relief when I didn’t see anything about being good.
I’ll be honest, I really don’t want to wait until I have this all figured out somehow.
I can’t afford to wait for the moment that I am feeling less vulnerable.
I was thinking about the fact that I’m not good at a lot of things when I first try them. But I’ve gotten really good at at least as many things. And usually, I got good (comfortable) by doing. Over and over. And being okay with sucking at it at first.
So, now what?
As a coach, I’m trained to ask questions. To stay really curious. So, I did some self-coaching.
What if I write even if I’m afraid?
What if I push myself just enough right now to get something written and published on my site?
What if it’s okay for my writing to be amateurish today?
What if what I write is the truth and what if that’s good enough?
What if I write just for me?
What if someone likes my writing?
What if someone feels the same scary things and sees that they aren’t alone?
There’s so much possibility when we’re open to it. And sometimes all it takes is the courage to allow it.
I decided I’m going to brave my way to believing that I’m a writer.
If I’m daring enough to get myself up and over the hump of doing nothing, then imagine the possibilities. It sure beats the inevitability of remaining in the same spot where I’m pretty certain nothing will change except the degree of self-loathing.
I’m thinking that when I do it more, I will begin to believe it. And when I believe it more, it may still feel hard, but it will be familiar and for me, familiar means less scary.
When I let go of all the self-imposed rules and requirements and conditions of what makes good writing and when I allow, just for a moment, that none of that matters I can begin to believe I am a writer.
And in those moments the fear and resistance feel pretty absurd. Who are these people I’m certain will judge me? What kind of power am I giving them? And honestly, why do I care?
This site is my home. My space. I can write what I want and when the critics speak, what will I make it mean anyway?
I was spending so much energy avoiding this thing that I’d made up countless negative stories about. And really those stories are all just lies. I had decided the fate of my future as a writer before I have even given it much of a go.
When I gave the idea of writing a little room to breathe and reveal itself, I discovered that I am pretty intrigued by the possibility that I might just enjoy this. That I might get good. That I might just be good enough right now.
I’m allowing that what I have to say has meaning. I am allowing myself to matter.
Feeling the pull of something new and different is exciting. Quitting because it’s new and different and potentially hard and maybe even scary is really kind of boring and it’s definitely not loving.
Where in your life are you saying no? What are you quitting because it feels too hard and what stories are you telling yourself that have terrified you into paralysis?
Use the same self-coaching questions from above and tailor to your specific situation. See if you can create an opening of possibility with your own act of braving to believing.
Here’s to braving our way to believing in all the beautiful opportunities that lie in front of us.
with love and gratitude to you, my fellow brave souls,