My artist friend visited this blog recently and asked me why I hadn’t been blogging. I said that I had been feeling sad for the past few weeks, and didn’t feel creative and able to write anything. She said, “use that sadness in your writing.”
I was reminded of a Neil Gaiman quote:
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.
Over the past two weeks I have been stretching myself quite a bit, taking on two coaching clients, doing additional coaching drills, and attending extra coach training. I also have my day job to tend to, so I felt very stretched and tired. I realised one of the reasons I was feeling so tired was because I had become very stressed about my results in coaching. Not because my clients weren’t performing well but because I had begun to doubt myself and my coaching ability.
I’ve always doubted myself, and I mean always. Even when I succeed I doubt my success. Even when I’m happy I doubt my happiness. There is never a time when I am not doubting myself. Doubt leads to feeling not good enough, and when I feel not good enough I shrink away. I withdraw and start doing less than what I could.
I love coaching and writing, and both activities require me to put myself out there. I have to bring my entire being into what I do, I have to put my heart and soul into every moment of it. So when I doubt myself or start feeling good enough, my coaching and writing start to shrink as well. The limits I place on myself affect everything I do.
Before I became a coach and a blogger I often asked myself who was I to think I could make a difference to people? Who was I to become great? Then I read the book by James Altucher, “Choose Yourself”. It said that nobody was going to choose me to become great. I had to choose myself. So I chose to pursue my dream. I chose to believe in myself.
Sometimes in our lives we seem to be waiting for something. We’re waiting for someone to give us permission. We’re waiting for someone to choose us. We’re waiting for a hero who will come along and make everything okay.
I’ve realised that the best person who can give us everything we want is ourselves. We are the ones who can give ourselves the courage and love and encouragement and support we need. If we’re not going to be there for ourselves, then who is? If we don’t believe in our own dreams, who’s going to?
The real fight
We love the superheroes like Wonder Woman and Captain America because they’re larger than life, because they fight the good fight, because they stand for something larger than themselves. That hero is in us too. We can be something more than what we believe we are. We are capable of more than we know. We deserve more than we think we do.
The real fight is not with some terrible amorphous evil out there. The real fight is inside us. We fight our own fear, our own apathy, our own insecurities, our own doubts. We fight the voices inside us that tell us nothing we do matters, that we can’t make a real difference, that we don’t deserve better.
The real fight is in each and every moment of our lives. Each living moment we make a choice to be less than who we could be, or to become more. In each moment we make a stand for courage and greatness, or we fall for fear and doubt. We can choose to believe in possibilities or to succumb to resignation. Whether we win the fight in these little day to day moments determines the long-term quality and potential of our lives.
Making a difference
Even though I have been hearing a voice inside my head to become a writer for half a year now, I procrastinate often. I wonder if I’m good enough to have my words read by people, if what I say matters. But today I put all of that aside. Despite my fear and my apprehension and my worry, I got myself out of bed and wrote this article.
I’ve learned that what we do does make a difference. When I started this blog and shared it on social media, I received messages from friends and acquaintances saying they liked my work and my writing. I never imagined that simply putting myself out there would generate such warm response and support. But the world pleasantly surprised me.
I often wish that I could give more and be more and do more for this world and people around me. Seeing the gap between where I want to be and where I am now is daunting. But that doesn’t stop me today from taking a tiny step closer towards the shining star calling me towards a vision for myself and the world that is great and beautiful.
I wish for you to find the courage and strength to embark on your own journey to discover for yourself who you can be. Imagine the day when all that doubt and fear falls away and all that’s left is a bright diamond reflecting the core of who you are, and everything you do radiates from that light. I believe this is worth every step of the long and arduous journey. And I wish you to join me.