By something, I don’t mean that fabulous pair of boots you saw last week that will go with every outfit you own. I mean like wanting something that makes your head go crazy with excitement and anticipation every time you think of it. For me, that’s wanting to write full time, in my own time, in my own space. To have people read my words, so that they land somewhere and mean something, make a difference to the way people think, feel, act and believe.
I don’t believe you can want something too much
I believe the strength of the wanting helps you hang in there when the dream seems very far away. But, I do believe you can get in your own way and trip yourself up so that getting to what you want can seem like a never-ending journey. I believe that the journey is rarely a straight line. And hey, curves make things interesting, right? Absolutely. Who needs a straight line? Just because it’s the shortest distance between two points. Boring.
So, as you guessed it. Yes, to those who follow my blog regularly. I did get in my own way at the writing retreat in Hawaii—for a while. And then, with Tom Bird’s help, I got out of my way, out of my head, and started to write. There’s a big difference from writing non-fiction to fiction—again, who knew?
I had to spend a whole lot of time getting to know the characters in the story before I could let them tell me the story. Apparently, I’m not the author, I’m merely the scribe. The story is flowing now, the first draft is well on the way and I’ll keep you updated through the blog. Many people at the retreat got their first draft written and some were well into their revision. Strack and the other Veronica, both have their books drafted.
How do you get back on track?
There are a few things that I’ve gathered over the last few years that help me to get myself back on the road after a detour. Cos, and don’t fall off your chair laughing, I am a bit of an overthinker. I know, right—who knew? I love to think deeply, and I love complex concepts and problems. If I have an Achilles heel, then it’s learning new things. You can sidetrack me really easily with something new to learn. Though the flip side is that I also love simple solutions. The quickest and shortest ways to get things done. Hang on, didn’t I say that was boring? Mmm. Now you can start to see how I can get in my own way.
My advice to you (and me)…
Follow the curves, enjoy the ride, they’ll swing around again eventually.
For me, between the over thinking, being a recovering perfectionist, and a chronic obliger, it’s a wonder I ever I get anything done for myself. Yet somehow, I not only get stuff done; in the past few years I’ve changed many of my beliefs about myself and the world, and I’m interacting in a much more conscious way. I’ve re-discovered my ‘self.’ I say re-discovered, because I was always there, I didn’t go away, I was just on pause, or slow forward if you like. As I learned there were different ways to be, for a while at least, I kind of tipped into fast forward, swinging wildly from one thing to the other as I tried the latest thing on the personal transformation track.
Now I feel like I’m—more or less—playing at the correct speed. This self is far from perfect, hence the recovering. In fact, I like to think she’s pretty fabulous, feisty and flawed, and that’s OK with the rest of her/me—most of the time.
How do you get out of your own way?
For your first step, I love this…
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.
– J.P. Morgan
That’s where I began. Cue the song… “I’ve gotta get outa this place. If it’s the last thing I ever do.”
Step two, start working out your why. Why do you want that thing so badly? Does it feed your passion, your purpose, underpin your values, give meaning to your life?
Step three, take a moment and let yourself dream. If you had that something, what would your life be like? Give yourself time to colour in your dream destination so that you can see, smell, feel and touch it. Write in your journal, paint a picture, chat to a friend.
My why is helping people move from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’.
It works for me. I knew there had to be something better, a deeper life, a richer and more meaningful life. I wanted a life lived vibrantly with more joy, more love and more peace. I felt this really deeply, and so in a hundred small ways I began on the how, getting myself from I can’t to I can. That’s what took me from a filtered life to a life with eyes wide open, and all the possibilities laid out right there for me to choose.
Moving from I can’t to I can
Here’s a little sample of what I moved:
- I can’t throw caution and a regular pay to the wind and start my own company. Yes, I can. It’s now four years later and I am still in business. Just me, doing my own thing, sometimes with great friends and colleagues and clients, and sometimes just me, just the way I like it.
- I can’t write a book, sharing my intimate, most vulnerable memories of losing my youngest daughter at four years old, and spending the next twenty years recovering. Yes, I can.
Now be warned, that voice in your head always has a comeback. OK, so I wrote one book, but you can’t write a second book. Yes, I can. Watch this space.
What would it take to get you to ‘yes, I can’?
What is that voice telling you that you can’t do?
You could start with learning a little more about what you love and value; then it’s easier to picture your destination with those things as your signposts, you can choose differently, to change and head towards your dreams. Try the “I love, I value, I choose” exercise. You could move a step closer to ‘I can’ right now by downloading the exercise and gifting yourself 20 minutes to complete it. Here’s the link…
Thanks for reading.
And if you’d rather listen to me read the blog, head over to SoundCloud HERE.
If you’d like to read my first book, Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness, before the next one is released, gift yourself a copy HERE. And get cracking ‘cos the next one is coming soon, maybe not as soon as I originally thought, but I’m riding the curves, and I’ll be back around soon.