Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Second Step

Ok, so let me fill you in on what's transpired since my first post. . .

60 people came to the blog. I don't know how many people actually read it, but the critical part of me is surprised that 60 people even bothered to click the link. (You know, because I'm so inadequate.)

A bunch of people (i.e. my friends) commented and messaged me very wonderful and supportive things.  This made me very happy.  If nothing else, I know I am loved.  But here's the double-edged nature of support from your friends--it can bolster your confidence, squelch your inner critic and give you the push you need to keep going.  It can also temporarily give you delusions of grandeur.  With all these wonderful comments and support, I found myself fantasizing: maybe this blog thing will be a success after all.  Maybe I can really take this somewhere.  People will be amazed by my writing and I'll acquire a tribe of followers.  News outlets will come across my blog; intrigued by my unique blend of humility and wisdom, they'll ask to interview me.  I'll get more followers.  I'll become an expert speaker, and tour the world giving lectures.  I'll help thousands of people and make lots of money.  I'll live my dream, pay off my parents' mortgage, start a college fund for my nephews, feed starving children in Africa. It will be amazing.  I can't wait. . .

Then I think about my next post.  Suddenly this second blog post has taken on a lot of meaning.  In fact, it's a little overwhelming.  I'm not sure I want to do this.  And resistance has its jaws firmly in my forward momentum.

So I've been thinking about the next post on and off for the past however-many days, going through the roller-coaster ride of coming up with a great idea, and then losing my excitement when I actually start to intend to write it.  I even wrote a draft of a post this weekend, but then decided it wasn't right.  It's easy to jump on myself and judge, but I will say one thing--I don't think the resistance is necessarily bad, as long as you keep moving forward.  The conclusion I ended up coming to is that all the great post ideas that I have are great, they're just a little ahead of where I actually am in my journey.  What I really want to share right now is my truth in this moment, which isn't quite as grand as my delusions would want it to be.  But I will file those other great ideas away for when they do feel right.  And in the meantime, I will write something.  Trust me when I say that the biggest mistake you can make is the mistake of inaction.*

So beware the perfectionistic mind's secret weapon--delusions of grandeur.  Very clever, Ego.  Very clever.

P.S. I don't think that these delusions are only of our grandeur.  I think that even when we start personal projects, as perfectionists we imagine the perfect outcome--and then anything we actually do will seem inadequate.  My advice--do it, anyway. It's very liberating to be imperfect. And there's very little in life that can't be fixed or redone.

*Research does NOT count as action.  I cannot stress this strongly enough!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The First Step

Welcome.  Welcome to my humble, badly-written blog.

My name is Steph.  I am a mistress of resistance, a pro at procrastination.  I am so good at procrastination that this blog is an act of procrastination to avoid doing something that might be scarier, more lucrative and more productive.  I typically get these great big ideas, and then I figure out how not to execute them.  It’s my forte.

That is how this blog started.  The latest in my string of big, beautiful ideas (the list really is quite impressive) was to start a blog that would describe my journey to overcome my depression, in the hopes that it might help people who are where I was ten years ago.  I wanted to give them all my experience, my tips, and my recommendations.  In typical resistant fashion, the very first thing I did was to dig out the Blogging for Dummies book my sister gave me. (Because you know how vitally important research is to procrastinators.  .  . but only if it's long, exhaustive, exhausting, and never-ending.)  I couldn’t skip straight to the chapter that actually tells you how to start a blog—oh no no no!—I had to read the introduction, memorize all the blogging terms and get acquainted with the blogosphere by browsing 20 or 30 examples on the Internet.  Then, finally, I got to the part about setting up my first blog.

When the initial setup was done, I sat there in front of the computer and had a big, fat realization: this was not going to be fun.  Because it wasn’t going to be perfect, and I was going to agonize over that.  In fact, it might be quite bad and excruciating to both write and read.  And that would kill my desire to blog.  My perfectionism has been the weapon of my resistance that has relentlessly murdered most of my creative desires.

I decided in that moment that I’d had it.  I’d had it with letting all my mental crap get in the way of pursuing my dreams.  So The Badly-Written Blog was born.  I am done with trying and pretending to be perfect.  I am outing myself here and now.

I am going to write a blog.  And it’s going to be imperfect.  It might be downright awful.  But I’m writing it anyway.