I’ve promised myself I’ll write a little every day, just 10 minutes, so here I am with coffee by my side, laptop on my lap. I find it very hard to write and I’ve been trying to figure out why.
Is it because I’m afraid people will judge what I write harshly? No, not anymore. Some people will, some won’t care either way but it doesn’t matter to me if I’m sharing things that could help someone. I don’t relish criticism but if it happens I’ll live with it.
Is it because I’m comparing myself with other writers? It’s not that either; I know there are plenty of gifted writers I’ll never be able to match and that’s OK as long as I can learn to get my message across clearly.
What is it then?
I used to have a blog called Crafty Blueberry which I started 10 years ago to write about small things that gave me joy. I had a small handful of readers and that was a nice bonus as I wrote it because I enjoyed it. I never felt stuck, I didn’t struggle to write.
I think the difference is pressure from myself. When I blogged on Crafty Blueberry I was doing it for myself only with no desire to be heard or seen. I was just a woman blogging about cake, cats, days out and knitting (my core interests havn’t changed at least). I was content to remain hidden in my domestic nest, riding out tough times quietly. Now I’m in a different phase of my life where I want to share with others, listen to what people have to say (I’d be a terrible coach if I didn’t) and be heard by people who I can help.
This is a shock to the system for the quiet cake making blogger from 10 years ago!
We’re made up of many different pieces and not all those pieces move forward with us as we grow. Some naturally fall away, others evolve as a continuing part of us and some cling on in an awkward tussle. These are the bits that I think come into play when we’re struggling to make a change and there’s a voice inside crying out “I can’t!”.
When I think about writing it’s one of those pieces from the past that I wrestle with. It’s the piece of me that wants to stay hidden and safe because as far as she’s concerned it’s worked just fine so far, hasn’t it? No, it hasn’t. Anything I’ve achieved or experienced I’ve done despite the urge to hide, not because of it. It was last helpful at school when I needed to avoid bullies, but as an adult it’s been a stone around my neck.
If it’s this outdated mindset that’s tripping me up what do I do to modify it? I see it as retraining. That part of me exists for a reason, because it was once useful and it’s familiar. I can’t cut it lose, I can’t forcefully push it away and I can’t transform it overnight. Instead I can persuade it. I can say to it “I get why you’re afraid of the world but it’s OK now because I’m with you and we’re learning a different way of being”. When I talk to the scared part of me that only wants to stay quiet and unseen I bring lots of love and understanding to it, as if I was talking to a frightened child and holding her hand as we ventured out into the world.
I know it can be hard to show your scared side patience and compassion when you want to get things done. You see other people in your field getting ahead apparently without fear or hesitation. But they may be afraid and hiding from it, they may have overcome fears to get where they are, or the progress you see could be nicely within their comfort zone just because it suits how they like to do things. It doesn’t matter how other people are doing and why. All that matters is the understanding you show yourself as you go through change. All that actually matters is love.
I invite you to join me in the challenge of showing yourself love as you work on making yourself seen and heard. Won’t it be worth it when you get you message out into the world and you see the beautiful difference it makes?