As I sat down to write a post for today, I noticed that it would be my 70th blog post. This came as a surprise. I had no idea that I was up to my 70th post! This blogging milestone triggered a reflection on my self-doubt journey, my journey as a blogger and, in particular, what moods and emotions support us in moving forward and achieving our goals.
When I first started to receive coaching, I would not have identified myself as determined or strong. I just assumed that I was weak and that, because of my weakness, the great self-doubt journey of whatever-year-it-was had come into existence.
Looking back on that time now, I see a determination and strength that I never knew I was capable of. It astounds me to this day that I couldn’t see it then. With hindsight, what I see is that I was so determined to learn something from every coaching session, and to create something amazing and wonderful from every less-than-wonderful situation, that I would not let anything get in my way. I insisted on always pushing forward, regardless of what that did to me.
There is a part of me that is proud of the strength and determination that I seem to have had back then. I also think that it would have been useful if I had noticed this strength and determination at the time. However, while the determination very much served me in achieving my goals, I wonder whether it was entirely healthy. If I was reliving that time now, I would consider adding some self-kindness to the determination. Back then, I didn’t worry about self-kindness; I probably didn’t even know what it was, to be honest.
As I reflect on this stage of my journey, I wonder about the stories that I was living and the moods that sat behind those stories. My assessment is that the story at the beginning of my journey was “I must fix this”, and the moods were determination and perseverance. I was going to keep going until I “fixed”my self-doubt; it would happen, no matter what. I feel as though the determination and perseverance were strong. They also drove me, and this is why I didn’t allow time to take care of myself, or give myself flexibility with my goals.
When I first started this blog, about six months ago, I had been telling myself for years that I wanted to write a book. And I did want to write a book. Yet, every time I tried to write it, the words didn’t come out. This used to frustrate me. I would summarise my coaching conversations into emails that could well have been book chapters in their own right and, whilst completing the coaching course, I apparently earned myself the course record for the longest assignment ever (our instructor said that my 23 assignments could almost be a book). Yet, when I sat down with the purpose of writing my book, words failed me. So until I started writing this blog, I had been avoiding writing anything that had a purpose behind it. Instead, I held a story that I had to feel called to writing, and it had to come from the heart. Deanne, accept that the book may never happen.
And then, a friend and colleague suggested that I write this blog. I thought it sounded like a cool idea, although I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to stick to it. Am I going to find myself stuck, like I have been with my book? What if I get bored, like I have with other blogs? What if I can’t write? What if…?
I decided to just see where it took me. Plus, I held an assessment that if the blog was to be about my journey, the first few months of blogging would be fairly easy because they would be blogging about the past.
And so this blog was born.
I didn’t expect to love it so much. I didn’t expect people to react to it. I certainly didn’t expect writing it to be so therapeutic for me. And I never expected that I would stick with it. Yet, here we are, with post number 70 about to be published, and with me getting excited that post number 100 isn’t so far away.
In writing my blog, I feel as though I have been more gentle and kind with myself than I was during my coaching journey. Maybe it is because I feel as though I have less to lose. Or, maybe it is because I am more at peace within myself than I was back then. The interesting thing is that I haven’t needed the strong perseverance and determination that was present when I was pushing for results during the coaching process. I also haven’t needed to be inflexible with boundaries. And yet, I have still moved this blog forward.
I think the story that I have associated with this blog is “I am at peace, and I am sharing this to help others find their version of peace”. The most useful combination of moods throughout my blogging journey has been a combination of peace and curiosity/wonder. This, I feel, is my most creative space. When I am in these moods, I feel as though I can create forever, and I can do it by being kind to myself, taking care of myself and letting the boundaries relax when they need to. It is interesting that I have been able to stick to and progress my blog without the push and drive that seemed necessary when I was receiving coaching.
The final piece in this reflection was about my book. Funnily enough, my story used to be “It won’t be good enough. No one will want to publish it”. The mood attached to those stories was, I think, a combination of resignation and anxiety. Now, my story is “I will write this book, and I will self-publish it if that is what it takes”. However, there is also a story of “I will know when the time is right. It is close, but not yet”. I feel at peace that I don’t actually know what the book is about yet. I have two ideas, and my assessment is that one of them will become the obvious choice sometime soon. When it does, I will be ready. Again, I feel as though the most useful mood is a combination of peace and curiosity/wonder, perhaps with a sprinkling of ambition.
Overall, I assess that there are a number of moods and emotions that can help us move things forward, even when we are feeling uncertain. Those moods don’t have to be moods centred in drive and determination; they could be moods that allow us to take care of ourselves along the way. In addition to our moods, we create stories about everything, so it is useful to know what the stories are surrounding the action that we want to take. And so it is that, from the combination of peace and curiosity/wonder, my 70th blog post is now an actual thing.
- What stories have you attached to your goals?
- How are those stories serving you?
- What stories would be useful?
- What moods are attached to your stories.
- What moods would be useful?
As a leadership and life coach, these points are all points that I am able to help people to explore. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.