Thursday, February 19, 2009

Secret #6: Conquering Saboteurs

When I was a little girl, I was very excited to learn how to skate. I had the most beautiful red skating dress with a skirt that would swirl when I turned. I imagined myself moving with speed and grace, dancing on the ice. Wonderful. I could hardly wait. I put my tender little skated feet onto the ice and promptly fell on my bum.

I never skated again.

Thinking back, I'm not sure whether it was the shock or the indignity that made me walk away. It was certainly a blow to my confidence to recognize the distance between what I dreamed of for myself and what was true in the moment.

I'm still a sensitive soul profoundly attached to my dignity. I can be shutdown by criticism. Fear of embarrassment or getting it wrong or not being good enough can hold me back. But my spirit is always aching to grow, to try new things, to go on the next adventure, to risk, to try, to believe something amazing is possible if only I show up. And so I do. And here are some of the things that I have learned and that help me. Maybe they'll help you too.
  • Respect your creative cycles. There are times in your process when your precious idea or your creative self is simply too tender for criticism and judgment. And there are other times when feedback and sharing can help shape your creation and guide you in taking the next step.
  • Create/find a safe rehearsal space. If you're going to grow, there will be times when you have to stretch and do things you have never done before. It may not be graceful. You may fall on your butt. Give yourself some time and space to do that - free of judgment, including your own.
  • Have support. It helps to have some loving friends, a supportive accountability group, an encouraging coach, an empowering blogging community, a trusted journal.
  • Be gentle with you. When I fall on my bum, it's time for a hot chocolate, a deep breath and a reminder that it's all okay.
  • Celebrate your strengths. In fact, not only is it okay, but it's a time to remember that in a lot of things I rock. Maybe I couldn't skate back then but I could dance, ride a bike and find my way around the neighbourhood!
  • Accept yourself and all of your sensitivities. This is not about changing who you are. It is about knowing how to best work with your own unique set of characteristics. One of my gifts is that I'm sensitive. It makes me good at what I do. But I need to know how it serves me and also how to be with it when it gets in my way.
  • Choose your adventures. There are some things that may not be worth the discomfort and hassle. To be honest, I don't really care that I don't know how to skate. It's way too cold out there for me! But then there are things that I really want to do that involve risking and potentially failing - running my own business, launching a new idea, putting on a show - and for that, I'm willing to fall on my bum.
  • The world won't end. As I've gone through life, sometimes I've fallen on my bum but sometimes I've shone. Often I've had fun and memorable experiences. Each time I've grown. Not one time has it been the end of the world. So, I'm going to keep showing up and seeing what happens. I'll just bring my sense of adventure with me.
How do you conquer your saboteurs?


Sandra said...

Some great ideas there. I especially liked the idea of realizing what's worth falling on your bum for, and an accountability group. Gotta find one of those!

whenigrowupcoach said...

I love this post! Celebrating your strengths and choosing your adventures are my two faves.

I also like the idea of the creative cycle, but can't think how it comes into my schedule. Do you have any further ideas as to how to find your creative cycle, Jamie?


Her Speak said...

"Be gentle with you." I can't hear that enough! :) It's true--we're humans. As animals we're imperfect, so why do we expect everything we do to be perfect? Cut yourself some s l a c k.

And I wanted to thank you for the sweet words and healing energy you left in my blog. It's been a rough couple of weeks, but it's getting better everyday. I'm finding a GrOoVe! :)

Awesome insight!
Much Joy, Many Blissings~*

Sarah said...

I always am great at defending and suporting up others - I frequently forget to take care of me - especially in my creative process! Thanks for the wonderful reminder and great advise!!

Sarah said...

I always am great at defending and suporting up others - I frequently forget to take care of me - especially in my creative process! Thanks for the wonderful reminder and great advise!!

Genie Sea said...

An awesome list! Very helpful and right to the point. Picking our risks is very insightful! :)

peppylady said...

Sometime it pretty hard to get back on the horse and when you fall off and get back on you hold on the horn extra tight.

Coffee is on

Anonymous said...

This list is awesome ! I use to be so critical of myself and still am to a small degree. Reading this helped me see that. Thank you for your words!

DG said...

It's so true, it's too cold out there anyway. I'm glad you could let this go and see all the other things you are so fantastic at.

Vedrana M. said...

great, just things i needed to remind myself... thank you :) oh, images are great too!

Melba said...

Jmaie you wise women!
I love that you included choose your adventures. I think there are things we think we should do or like, but if they are just not resonating with us...well, then we have to let it go.

Lissa said...

Being that I wanted to be like Dorothy Hamill when I grew up, (only to find that their is big difference between wheels and blades, not to say of that fact that her haircut does not look good me.) I so related to this. It's a horrible thing to be frozen, or stuck on on thin ice. Every week you let me know that I have to move. That I must not let my life skate on by. Thank you Jaime.

honeybee said...

Indeed, others support is very important for me. Somebody's opinion can either bring me down or inspire me like nothing else...

Currently I'm participating in project and the biggest gift of it - is all the support you get from others!

Dracenea said...

This was a beautiful post.

How do I conquer my saboteurs? I growl and hiss a lot. : )