In a recent conversation with a friend (where so many of my insights show up), we were sharing our difficulties about starting something new or getting unstuck on projects we wanted to kick start again. I used to think I was good at starting projects, then I’d get stuck or bored in the middle, but I would get through that phase to successful completion. Now I see a “stuckness”, far beyond my usual procrastination.
I have a computer sitting quietly on my desk in a lovely home office, surrounded with my notebooks and research material for the book I’d been writing awhile ago. My friend has a room set up in her home to begin her art projects, yet hasn’t started for months. Neither environment or our desires have launched us into action. We have the time, the interest, and the resources, yet we both are stuck. Why? So, I thought I’d dive deeper to figure it out, and hopefully get moving again. I started with these two questions.
What am I feeling? Fear of failing at the project. Fear of looking stupid. Overwhelm. Too much to take on. Alone and lonely when I’m writing.
What am I thinking? Inadequate. Like an imposter. Who do I think I am? I’ll never be any good at this. I don’t know enough. Who cares anyway?
Ok, so now I know what I’m thinking and feeling. So what? I realize it’s not the end of the world if any of these are true or not. Besides, I don’t even know if they are true because I’m not that far along in the book and I’ve never received a rejection notice yet!
In Byron Katie’s brilliant work, she suggests you ask yourself the following questions.
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know it’s true?
- How do you react when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Then turn it around.
- Allow for the possibility. Is it possible? ___ Yes ___ No
- Attitude: Is yours positive and receptive? ___ Yes ___ No
- Ask for what you need? Do you need more information, help, resources.
- Acknowledge and appreciate progress and every success.
- Act as if its absolutely, positively true.
So, let’s give these a try.
Write it out. I’ve written the questions and answers in my journal. (If you don’t at least have a spiral notebook nearby, I suggest it’s a great place to start sorting things out. I have used many over the years to sort out, reflect and gain insights into my life.) This gets me out of my head and on paper, out in the daylight where things aren’t so bleak. That’s a start.
The action after the writing is identify the “ask for what you need”. For me, it’s a writing group, a trip to the library for research, or grabbing my project binder and computer and head over to local coffee shop to write for one hour without judgment—-positive movement without regard to outcome.
I just returned from a writer’s retreat and workshop which jump started me to action on the book I’ve been dabbling with for several years now. Being with like-minded positive, supportive women, a wise writing coach/facilitator to nudge and encourage me, I began writing and got into my book enthusiastically again.
I was able to tap into the possibilities and value of what I had to offer. I definitely have a positive and receptive attitude.
I asked for what I needed….some guidance, a few resources, suggestions, and honest feedback for starters. I appreciated the support I received and the work I have accomplished so far. Thanks to you great women…you know who you are!
No longer do I say I write, I own that I am a writer. That’s a very different, yet subtle difference. It has energy and power. I am acting as though I am a writer with important, inspiring and interesting things to say.
Give this a try…..it worked for me. So, off to get my latte and to write for an hour.