12 May 2016

CHOOSE BRAVERY OVER PERFECTION

 photo fromlucywithlovechoosebraverytext_zpsc4zl5exa.png
^^Quote taken from podcast Raise Your Hand & Say Yes Episode 86 | Draw by me^^

*Apologies in advance for a bit of a long post!*

I've been a bit quiet on the talking-about-my-business-to-be front recently and, whilst that is largely down to being rushed off my feet, it is also because of something that has been coming up for me recently, psychologically speaking, over the last few weeks. The thing is, because I spent some time writing posts, in this very space, about 'not comparing yourself to others' and 'staying positive', it felt somewhat hypocritical to suddenly write something that contradicts previous thoughts. But then I figured that we are all human, and we are all susceptible to having times where, no matter what, we just feel a bit... overwhelmed by things. Also, sharing these thoughts can sometimes be useful to you (I hope!) so I thought I would drop my recent brain-funk here for you! (It ends well though!).

Since having coaching with the very lovely Gemma Sands last year, I have gotten far better at recognising something that could be potentially harmful to my progress/motivation and, therefore, I am less likely to let the small things wear me down then I was before. 

However...just because I recognise something, it doesn't always mean it is water off a ducks back!

Last weekend I found myself in a state of total creative frustration and full on anxiety. What started as a teeny negative thought in my mind about my capability to do one little thing, soon snowballed into thoughts like 'I am totally inadequate compared to other people', 'I just don't have enough talent/skills to do this' and 'why am I trying to do this, I can't do this!'. 

Why did this happen? 

For the most part it happened because I am going through a huge learning curve in setting up a business, which I have never done before and, for some unknown and totally illogical reason, I expect myself to know everything now if not sooner! I place the expectation on myself that everything I produce must be 'perfect' first time, even if it is something that I have never done before.

Having sat back and thought about things for a while I popped on a couple of podcasts to help distract my busy mind and, as often happens when you throw your troubles out to the universe, the first two podcasts that played on my list of saved episodes were covering the very subject I was struggling with.

By coincidence, the first podcast was one of Gemma's, from Free to Flourish Radio, titled 'How to step out of your own way'. In this episode, Gemma talks about ways in which we hold ourselves back. When I listened to her listing out things we all say to ourselves at a time of negativity, it really resonated with me! Gemma is fab at providing positive techniques to help turn around these thoughts and remain as positive and productive as possible.  However, it was the second podcast I listened to, by Tiffany Han, called 'Letting Go of Perfection', that made me jot down the quote 'Choose Bravery Over Perfection'. Like Gemma, Tiffany was discussing the idea that having of a vision of perfection was what was preventing us stepping forward and getting out of our own way, rather than having the dreamy outcome people expect it to have (it is actually very destructive and paralysing).

Something that she said really hit me, because I know it something that I do; she talked about a difference often (but not exclusively) seen between men and women, when reacting to something that just has not gone right in a process. The majority of the time, where a man may say 'something has gone wrong with the process I am doing here' a women will often say 'something is wrong with me' (because a process isn't working). Hands up to this guys, I often say this, mostly in my own head, but I do it! Please don't think I have us ladies down as some kind of weaker sex here because, I promise you that is not the case at all, but I do agree that a lot of us can look to our skills from a personal aspect and see something we know less about as a weakness in our personalities.

The thing I was trying to do recently was really frustrating me. That morning, I had taught myself to do something fairly complex, and was super happy with myself. Move on to that same day, but a few hours later, I was trying to do something else, and failing to get it to do what I wanted. My thoughts turned to 'why are you even trying to do this?' / 'you are useless at this!' / 'everyone else is so much better that you are'... even Joe said to me 'but you were really happy with what you had done earlier, you are just learning something new!' - point proven!

This may all sound very dramatic and, yes, it may well be, but that is because it is very important to me, hence the ridiculous pressure I placed on myself. The lesson I have learnt from my weekend of technical breakdown (and two awesome podcasts)? Perfection is a myth. It doesn't exist, not really. We are fed the manufactured idea of perfection, so we strive for it, but it is not even a real thing!

To do list:
- stop judging yourself based on the success and achievement of others.
- look only to your own journey and remain goal focused.
- put energy in to what makes you happy (and your own ideal).
- work as hard as you can and don't give up! (Don't be afraid to ask for help either).
- self care is key (this is something Gemma said to me over and over again...I hate it when someone is right!).

(If you made it to the end you get a gold star! Thanks for reading!)
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