Believe that your voice does not matter.
I used to think that my story had no significance. That no one would listen to me or care. I spent way too much time letting people dictate my dreams. Honestly, I could have spent all that time and energy doing the one thing I wanted to be doing - writing.
But once I started sharing my story online back in 2020, and I saw that my voice, story, and blog posts were resonating with others, it gave me the courage to keep sharing.
Maybe you dream of becoming consistent at something. Maybe you have a book brimming inside of you, just waiting to come out. There's only one thing to do: start and see what happens.
Push past the fear of "what will they think?" You have a story to tell, and it is meant to be shared. Your voice matters.
Convince yourself that your work is not worthy.
I have this terrible habit when it comes to how I talk about my work. I know that language matters, yet I say things like:
“Oh, it’s just a little rambling. It's nothing significant.”
“I’m not good at poetry, so I’m sure I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“I'm not a real writer.”
This is a way to shrink myself so that if others feel inclined to think little of me, I can say, "Don’t worry, I’ve already downplayed myself more than you ever could." Insecurity only knows the language of downplaying, and of making small the magnitude of great efforts.
If you assume that your work is not worthy of recognition, your creative flow will be suppressed by self-doubt.
Can I offer a little challenge? Pay attention next time you talk about your craft. And don't slide in any word of dismissiveness or unworthiness.
The way you talk about your work will tell you straight if you honor your efforts, or if you make them small. But bringing these downplaying tendencies into awareness can help you dignify your work anew.
Your work is worthy. And you can choose to honor it through your language.
Never allow yourself to finish anything.
"I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged."
I was stunned - and somewhat amused - by the number of posts I started writing but never finished or published on my blog. Some of them are just thoughts, ramblings, and speculations, while others are biased and opinionated pieces in the making.
I constantly put myself behind the starting line but never allow myself to experience the victory of finishing something.
If you're like me, I think it's time we realize this - Nobody has demanded perfection from you, you are the one demanding it for yourself.
Make "I can’t" your language.
In small tasks throughout the day - little things I know I am more than capable of doing - I hear myself say, "I can’t."
The limiting beliefs slowly trickle in. Left unchecked, what will these words become? Much grander statements? And these grander statements will slip from my mouth in a defeated fashion, probably because I permitted the smaller words to slip past the gate:
I can’t pray.
I can’t talk to people.
I can’t send the text.
To stop the grander statements, I realize I need to give myself better stories. To fight the voices of fear that sprout in my little mind with words of kindness, compassion, and capability.
Now, I repeat this new story to myself, "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."
It’s a start.
Believe that wholeness means perfection.
When I was ten years old, I went to my friend's house to spend the day against my mother's wishes. And on my way back home I fell inside the gutter. This fall created a perfect U shape on my left leg. It's been over eight years, and the scar is still there and even when I grow older, the scar will still be there.
I think the scar gives me a great story which I love and something to laugh about with my mum as I get older. I like it now, but I didn't always like it.
With each of my scars, I've learned something. When I made mistakes that broke my heart, I learned how to lean in more to my instincts.
This also applies to a characteristic or flaw you may perceive in yourself. I didn't always like my smile, but my smile is one of the things that make me, me and I have grown to see how beautiful it is.
Loss, betrayal, joy, pain, happiness, and heartbreak are all a part of us, and our stories, and rather than hide the scars they leave, we can celebrate them and the ways they serve to define us.
Acknowledge that character and depth are part of who you are. And I hope when you think of the concept of wholeness, you remember that wholeness does not mean perfection. It means no part is left out and that part includes the good, the bad, and the beautiful.
It is your imperfections that make you unique and your uniqueness makes you beautiful. Embrace the scraps, scars, and bruises life gives you, and keep going.
Thursday, 15th June, '23.