Lately I’ve been feeling stifled. And overwhelmed. And to be honest, a teeny tiny bit lost, frustrated, and desperate. There are several reasons for this, which I’m now going to list in an effort to untangle the jungle of interlocking, confusing thoughts that has taken over my brain. I’ve been avoiding this post for a few weeks now but since no progress has been made it seems inevitable, and as the wonderful Caroline Leon says, getting naked is the way forward, so here goes:
- I have no idea what my vision is for this blog. I know that it’s something I have to do, but I don’t know why, or how, or what the point of it is, which is adding to my writing fears as I’m not sure what I should be writing about
- I have a lot of interests that I am pursuing at the moment, all of which seem to demand way more time than I have in order to really be worth doing, and none of which I want to give up
- For all the vision-seeking exercises and brainstorming and inspirational reading I am doing, I am still no closer to knowing what I want to be doing with my life, and I’m starting to fear that I’ll never figure it out and have to stay stuck in mediocrity and dissatisfaction FOR EVER
Right. I’ll start with Number 1. The worst thing that can happen is that I become so paralysed that I stop writing altogether, so in order for that not to happen I’m going to give myself free rein to write whatever the hell I feel like writing about, even if that means that no one reads it anymore and people leave me comments saying I suck.
At the start of the year, I decided that 2012 was going to be the year that I would finally bust though my remaining fears and blockages, and begin to really pursue the kind of life I have always wanted; the kind of person I always wanted to be. I started this blog because I felt it was just something I had to do; my main motivations were to help me focus more on my personal development and to connect with the inspiring community of bloggers doing awesome shit that I want to do too, in keeping with my resolution for this year.
I think I need to go back to the beginning, stop trying so hard to find my niche, and just go with wherever my mind takes me.
On to Number 2. Stuff I’m doing (outside of working full-time and commuting):
- learning to sing (lesson every week + practice)
- playing guitar and singing with my almost-band
- writing songs
- running, cycling, working out, yoga
- reading many clever books
- listening to clever podcasts
- watching TED videos and other informative films
- reading informative and insightful blogs
- learning Italian
- building up my BES Business
- blog writing
- book writing
I love all of these things, and would love to be doing even more, but the last few weeks I’ve found myself feeling extraordinarily resistant to pursuing any of them. The best example is the band. I have ALWAYS wanted to be a badass rocker in a badass rock group, and here I am with things finally starting to fall into place and I’m considering giving it up. The first reason that came to me is the obvious ‘I’ve got too much on my plate and I need to prioritise’ one, but that didn’t seem to fit so I dug a little deeper and it turns out I have somehow managed to attach a ‘should’ even to this. Somehow (startlingly quickly) it changed from ‘this is AWESOME!’ to ‘I should do this’.
Unfortunately I’m the kind of person who hears ‘should’ and runs the other way, so this doesn’t really work as a motivational tactic for me. The word ‘should’ is bound up with external expectations for me – something I am highly allergic to – and as soon as I think it there is nothing I want more in the world than to not do it.
Remember my philosophy of “It should be fun“? Even that has than damn word in it! I really don’t know why I do this but it’s clear that it has to stop. Immediately. All my activities are fun, so it’s just a question of adjusting my attitude, chucking out the ‘shoulds’, and approaching everything as fun.
The time issue is a worrisome one though as I feel like I
should want to invest more time in writing, but unless someone invents a sleep-replacement pill this means cutting time from other activities. The thing is, this story is getting old – I’ve been moaning about this problem for years and the only advice I’m given is that I “have to choose” and I “can’t have everything” because “it’s not realistic”. I am SO SICK of hearing those phrases. And you know what? I think that mostly I waste time and become paralysed (and hence am less productive and efficient with the time I have at my disposal) because I have unwittingly absorbed this dubious wisdom over the course of my life and my mind recites it with increasing frequency the more projects I take on, thereby turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. An alternative tactic could be to increase focus, change the way I organise my time and divide my activities, and allow myself to do all the things I want to do without temporal pressure.
So my new mantra is: I have enough time to do everything I love.
Fearful, worrying, nagging mind, I hereby shun you and your self-righteous bullshit.
Number 3. My “purpose”, my “calling”, my “raison d’être” remains highly elusive, and it’s pissing me off. I mean seriously universe, I’m really trying here…throw me a damn bone already! I think maybe here also I need to take a break from the seeking and just deepen what I’m already doing with my Bach Essence Consulting. The other day I changed my question from “What do I want to do” to “How can I help people” and felt one of those little sparks in my tummy – you know the ones that tell you you’re onto something? Helping people makes me really, really happy…and I’m already doing that with my consulting. So maybe if I just focus on that for now it will lead me where I need to go.
I used to think I was alone in feeling so lost about my purpose, but the more I speak about it, the more people tell me they feel the same. Are we overwhelmed by the choices that this immensely diverse age offers? Or are we just so disconnected from our hearts that we can’t hear what they whisper to us? We live at a time where many of us have the luxury of being in a position to ask ourselves what makes us happy, and we often seem to have very little idea of what that might be. It’s often the case that when we stop searching, the thing we were looking for falls right into our laps. Could sitting still without questioning be the cure for our restless generation?