12 Secrets: Week 6
Create the kind of self that you will be
happy to live with all your life.
Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks
of possibility into flames of achievement.
It is Friday again, so it's time for another post as part of Jamie Ridler's book group for bloggers to discuss The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin.
It is already the 6th week: the half way point in the book. This week's focus is on Conquering Saboteurs.
I really think we all have those little voices at one point or another telling us "You can't do it" or "Why would you do that?" or "That will never work."
Those voices may come from others or from within.
I am a fortunate woman. I am surrounded by people who love me, and by those whom I love dearly. Despite this love--for which I am so grateful--there are times when I am affected by gestures or comments.
If you know me, you know how incredibly sensitive I am. I am an emotional person and am very in touch with my feelings. I cannot help it. I have always been this way. Not taking things to heart, though, has been in work in progress the past few years.
A comment--which may seem so benign--used to be able to stick with me and truly bother me. I remember when I was in college. I was studying political science and sociology and my part time job was in cosmetics. That's when I knew that I wanted to be a makeup artist "when I grew up." I told someone very close to me that that is what I wanted to do and was told "Why would you say something like that? If you do that as a living, people will think you're uneducated."
The idea that I would go to college and decide I wanted to be a makeup artist wasn't understood by this person, but I really think that is because this person is a very logical person who doesn't explore creativity the way I do. While the comment wasn't meant to hurt my feelings or be an insult to me, it affected me greatly because it was as though my dreams and desires were being discounted.
That is one form of sabotage--someone you love discounting your dreams. Your dreams reflect a part of your being. If you express this and it is seen as nothing more than a silly idea, then it's as if you are being thought of as stupid or silly.
At times, I can be my own biggest saboteur. This saboteur within me is like a pair of boxing gloves with my psyche as the punching bag. I have always been self-critical--much worse before than now, though. In high school, after taking 4 years of Spanish, I decided I would take up French in my senior year. I ended up taking French I, II and III all my senior year just because I wanted the challenge of mastering the language.
I knew nothing other than "oui" and "merci" when I started taking French in September. In June, I took the state Regents exam in French III and earned a 99. Nearly perfect. I missed getting a 100 because I had my accent mark going to the right instead of the left on a word I no longer recall. I beat myself up for a long time.
Instead of stepping outside and looking at it as "Wow, you crammed 3 years of a foreign language into 1 year and earned a 99% on the state Regents final!" I looked at it as, "What is wrong with you? You couldn't even put an ACCENT MARK in the right direction!"
The dialogue for many years was like this for me. I would beat myself up over little things and big things. Nothing I could do was good enough for my biggest critic--me.
I am not going to lie and say that it is all sunshine and roses and I have a yellow balloon with a smile face floating in my psyche saying, "You're kind. You're smart. You're successful."
It is not like that at all.
I do have incidents of self-sabotage and fear of letting people down. I worry about this often. Sometimes, though, you just have to do what is best for you and learn that you cannot please everyone. I am a "yes" person. This is one thing I need to overcome. I need to give myself permission to say "no" to others (politely, of course) and YES to myself.
For example, I just had my busiest month ever in January with my business. I have been swamped and feeling exhausted again. Something's got to give for my own sake. In the spring, I am bringing back the mineral makeup I offered in late 2007 and adding more to the cosmetics line (including new custom blended lipstick). This is something fun that I want to do, but in order for me to keep things manageable so I am not a slave to my work, I will have to phase out most of my body care line. It's time consuming. It takes up lots of space (all the extra larger jars, etc.) in my workspace and in my daily life.
The fear of saying "No, I can't do this anymore" is huge for me. By doing this, though, I will be afforded the time I need to launch another love to my line. I don't know why I do this to myself. No one is going to email me and say, "You're a horrible person because you're discontinuing a body cream!"---at least I do not anticipate it :)
By saying no and trusting myself--and this is a HUGE one--trusting myself. I said it. I trust myself and do so fully. By acknowledging this, I fuel my creative process. When I trust my feelings, it shows that I believe in my dreams and in my thoughts. It didn't happen until recently--maybe a few months ago. I actually started listening more and more to that kind voice in my head instead of the voice that was once so critical.
This is my feeling--the barometer to gauge the shift from self doubt to self acceptance is when you are able to look into the mirror inside your heart and accept with love and respect the image looking back at you.