Originally posted 12 July 2017.
How are you? I hope you are well and enjoying July so far.
It has been 2½ weeks since my last blog post…Gosh, that sentence reminds me of going to confession when I was a catholic schoolgirl in Kenya! ‘It has been 2½ weeks since my last confession’…..I could write a whole blog post about religion and my experiences and views on it but I won’t do that…probably ever! I digress! Thank you ever so much for all your lovely comments about my poem, ‘I Want To Stand’. It means so much that you take the time to connect with me. You are gorgeous!
I was so buoyed up after I wrote and posted it. I was all ready to change the world, you know? I was going to email it to people, send it into the local newspaper (anonymously probably!) and I started to work on turning some of the words of the poem into products, like cards, prints etc. My idea is to be able to make a contribution to charity from the sale of any product using the words from my poem. As I wrote in the poem, ‘..at the end of my days, I want to have stood for something’. I really do.
I have started to work on the first design but it feels slightly like walking blindfolded. I am not really sure how to get where I want to be, I have a faint picture in my head of my destination, but self doubt has crept in and I’ve lost a bit of momentum. And this feels familiar. I have been in this spot many a time before. You may remember that I want to be an author. Well, I have many ideas, I have actually written one story (about a year ago!) and I have started another couple. I start so enthusiastically, but my energy and more importantly, my self belief fizzles out and I feel a bit lost. I know that this feeling of uncertainty is all about the process of learning. I love learning but I’m not good at not knowing. When things feel too hard and uncertain, I kind of give up or move on to something I do know.
I desperately want a career and feel panicky about not quite being there yet…at my age. It is difficult to learn or move on when you are panicking! I want to feel established and I have shame about not earning money, but I really want to for me and my family. I accept and I love that I still have young children. Not having an established career to go back to after having them and therefore not being able to afford childcare if I got any job, has meant that I have been home looking after them and doing all those wonderful but also tiresome things that go along with that. And I believe and understand how lucky I am to be here with them and to have had this time.
I am also lucky to be in a position to be on this creative journey. But recently I have started to look a little bit closer at why I might not quite be where I want to be in terms of my career. I have started to question how I approach the time I do spend trying to move forward, trying to build a career for myself. What do I spend my time doing? Do I spend it doing those activities that fulfill me, that I find quite easy, but are unlikely to result in me earning money, even in the long term? Yes, I think I do! Do I do that because the activities that fulfill me but MIGHT lead to monetary gain feel difficult, uncertain and scary? Yes, I do and yes they do scare me! It is that fear I was talking about in my first post creeping in. I was brave in declaring my intentions, but I kind of stopped there!
Well I never! I am a procrastinator! What a revelation! I am always doing SOMETHING but I am RARELY doing THE THING that is more likely to lead to me establishing myself as a writer or product designer and one who gets paid!! Money is not the be all and end all. I know that there are other ways to measure success but surely, if I want a paid career, which I do, I need to maximise my chances of getting one.
This next statement is going to sound so obvious but I am going to write it anyway! If I write a story and send it off to a publishing company, I might become a published author, one who gets paid! If I write a craft tutorial and send it off to a craft mag, I might become a crafter who earns a little bit of money! But if I just write blog posts, which I love doing, I am not sure how likely it is that I am going to move towards my goals.
But those activities that may move me towards my goals scare me and they do so because I have self doubt about my abilities and credentials. I am just winging it surely? I am an imposter aren’t I? There is a lot of talk about ‘imposter syndrome’ at the moment and I feel it keenly. I am self taught, untrained etc etc. I am acutely aware of the gaps in my knowledge and skills. And I’m back where I started – walking blindfolded.
This analogy is so spot on for where I am now. On the route ahead I find myself blindfolded, so I take it off and go along a different path where I can see, but it does not lead to my desired destination. If I put that blindfold back on, I am on the right path, I’ve prioritised the right journey, I know where I want to be, but I just can’t see where I am going! I need to fill those gaps in my knowledge – a course perhaps? Or I may just need someone to hold my hand and guide me, someone who understands and can see where I need to go and who has those skills to help me along the way. I need help!
There is a slight problem! I like to do it all myself. I do not like asking for help but I am going to have to if I want to get there aren’t I lovelies? And I am going to take some pills for that ‘imposter syndrome’ and ‘self doubtitis’ too. Tee hee! Only joking. I am so glad I have arrived at this realisation because I really think it will help me to move on. I’m going to prioritise those activities that will lead me down that path and I am going to reach out and ask for help to guide me. Both of these things will be hard for me.
Here’s an equation to summarise!
The right action towards goals + (self belief x guidance) + double chocolate chip cookies + a cup of jasmine tea = movement in the right direction towards career satisfaction and fulfilment!
Tell me, do you procrastinate? Do we all procrastinate? What prevents you from getting where you need to or want to go? And I’m not just talking, ‘leaves on the track’, although that’s a good analogy too…
Lots of love poppets. I’ll report back soon but not too soon because that might mean that I am not doing those other things that might get me where I need to go! (..I’m rolling my eyes at myself!)