Looking at Myself
For the past years I’ve been trying to write a book. The material for it fills an A4 lever-arch file. There is never a shortage of thoughts and ideas. But the book is still in the A4 folder.
Recently a colleague published a PDF on his chosen subject within days of saying that they would. They made a decision, they knew what they were going to write about and they got on with it and did it. Just like that. They made the decision and did it. And that single action caused me to reflect inwards.
It was a knock-back for me, because it made me realise how slowly I was going about it. It forced me to reflect on my actions and inactions. Then the question came – why? Why am I not writing it? What’s delaying me? Why?
The answers came flying back like the crows in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The birds”. I’ve always had the tendency to ask questions that I answered myself (Doc Cooper, my ‘A’ level chemistry teacher, used to tell me the same thing). When you ask a question out loud you realise that energy, allowing the answers to come back in; you call on your subconscious for answers and it responds.
The answers were many and each has to be looked at and considered objectively, asking myself, “Is this why?”
Ask and Receive
Procrastination came first. But this is too broad a subject. We procrastinate for many reasons. Procrastination is just an overarching word that covers a lot of other reasons. Such as fear.
What do I fear? I fear getting it wrong, which means that I’m giving the wrong ideas. It means that I am not putting everything that I ought to be writing in the book.
The criticism. Not just from getting it wrong, but from others criticising me for writing a book, that I’m not qualified to write it, that I don’t have the necessary knowledge to write it. The possibility of people that I have known for a long time breaking away from me.
Confidence, which is a character trait that I lacked for the majority of my life. I doubted my abilities in anything and everything, unless I knew my subject extremely well, the cause for my perfectionism.
Although the fear of failure ought to be there, somehow that is not a fear I hold. Not because I can’t fail (“Failure is not an option” kind of strong and determined stance), but because I don’t see failure as the end of all.
The bottom line is doubt. Doubt that the book will be successful or that it will make some difference. Whether I will write it the way I want to write it, in my own voice, so that it will have a positive effect in peoples lives.
The main recognition is the need to “do it right”, to be useful and readable. Not to be just another book on self help or personal development.
All these reasons, when you look at them, objectively are fears. And none of them live in the present, but in the future in my mind. They are only ideas in my own mind. And that’s all they are.
Writing a book is not hard when you know what you want to write about. What stops us is our fears of other peoples responses to what we have written and most of the time we are wrong. Of course there will be people who disagree with us and there should be. If everyone agrees with us how can we learn or have something to compare our ideas with, to determine if we are right or wrong.
So how do we really get ahead, move ahead? The answer is simple – just do it. Put out those flames of fear in your mind, blow the spiderwebs of doubt to the side. Decide that it is something that you have to do for you, because if you don’t do it you will later always ask yourself, “What if, what would have happened if I had done that?”
Are you willing to grow older and ask yourself that question at a time when you no longer have the opportunity to do so?
I’ve got a study card next to my laptop with a sentence I wrote a few days ago. It’s there to remind me what I have to do, but mainly the why. It reminds me to keep moving forward and to ignore the doubts and the fears. It gives me the push I need to keep going and do what I have to do.
You see, I don’t really have a choice. I can either go back to the life I had before, stay as I am or move ahead. There is no way I will go backwards – the feeling of where I am now is so much better, mentally, spiritually and physically. I am content where I am and happy, because I choose to be. But to move ahead and keep moving to draw my future self to me, my life to me, is the only real option.
Because anything else would be letting myself down and the people that have faith and belief in me. It would be letting down the people that I will help and will be helped by what I do.
In every moment you can choose to stay or move ahead. I choose to move ahead.
What have you taken away from the above? Are you staying or moving ahead?
Imagine you were now dead or had not lived before this moment. Now view the rest of your life as a bonus and live it as nature directs.