I like to write, well I thought I did. I thought that I had a lot to say, a lot of stuff whirling around in my head that needed to come out, to become real by being written down. I was wrong. I found it surprisingly hard.
I had the pen and paper all ready to go and all of a sudden my mind was blank. This is ridiculous I thought, how can this be happening? I felt really frustrated. I’m always going on to people about the amazing impact of journaling, writing whatever is in your mind down so that it is out of your head, and here I was not being able to write a single thing.
Right, I thought, let’s give myself a little help and use some guided journaling questions to answer. I have loads of books with these sorts of questions in, leading you to talk about your blocks in life, what you really deep down want to achieve, and still nothing, still a blank. I felt even more frustrated, cross with myself and a bit of a charlatan. If I couldn’t practice what I preach then what right do I have to advise people? Obviously with this negative self-talk I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere and gave up. I still had this little ball of irritation in my belly that I had all of these grand ideas but when it came down to it I couldn’t do it. This was what I always did. I was following my usual cycle of feeling not good enough, self-doubt is easy, comforting almost – it’s always there for you.
This made me think. Where does this feeling of not being good enough come from, why am I always filled with such self-doubt? I am forever telling everyone else how amazing they are (well you are), that they just need to believe in themselves (you do) but I can’t seem to get myself there!
I have always thought that I would one day write a book. This has been my goal for as long as I can remember. I have lots of ideas; a novel, children’s story or self-help kind of thing, all of which I have started the first few pages of. But then again I get stuck. I lose my direction and don’t know which way to go with it. It’s not my self-doubt that gets in the way, it’s my lack of direction. My worry about doing the wrong thing. I’m like a firework that fizzles out before the explosions and spectacular display of colours and sparkly lights. I can’t decide because there are too many directions it could go in.
My mum says that when I was younger I could never decide on anything, I always wanted to be absolutely sure that I was making the right decision and not missing out on anything else. We know with life you can’t do that. There is never going to be the perfect option. And that is where my biggest issue lies. My obsession with wanting to be perfect, to want to be in control and be able to make all of the right choices. This is why at 7 years old I would measure my socks to make sure that they were the exactly same height below my knees and my pigtails were the same width apart from my middle parting, and as an adult I have to try and control as much of my life as I can as well make sure that I have all of the sides of a story, situation, opinion before I can make my own decision on the matter. It is why I have so many self-help books, strive for knowledge on so many different subjects to do with personal growth and development and want to make sure that I know so many different ways that can help people heal. It is why I am so open to learn about people’s beliefs and values and why they choose the paths they lead. People and their choices intrigue me and I just want to understand them.
This is why I am riddled with self-doubt. Because I will never live up to my own high expectations. I will never be fully in control and ‘perfect’ (whatever that is). How can I live up to something when I don’t actually know what it is because it doesn’t exist? This is why I can’t answer those questions about myself or become struck when I try to write. I’m afraid to lose control.
It’s easy to focus on what could go wrong when you don’t really know what ‘right’ is. The fall down could be bigger and scarier. I am so deeply grateful for what I have now and that should be enough. If I write down all of the other things that are whirling around in my head and they started to come true then I can’t imagine all the different scenarios of what could go wrong. So what do I do? I carry on.
I do those little things that I know will nurture me, my soul. I list the things that I am grateful for every day. I spend time with the people I love. I share positive affirmations. I do yoga and try to give my mind a break through some form of mindfulness or meditation. I carry on. I read and learn and pass on my knowledge to those who need it. Because in all of my self-doubt and strive for perfection I know one thing; I am not a charlatan. I know my stuff. I may not be perfect but I’m damn good at my job and what I do, and one day I will write that bloody book!