Outsmarting my Ego
I’m the girl with the blog, who on a very rare occasion rocks a panda hat. And by rare, I mean just long enough to take this selfie. I am also the girl who, just a month and a half ago said I was going to (and I quote) “dedicate more time to writing and, therefore, be able to post more regularly.”
This is the trouble with the Internet. It’s not the perverted chat rooms or cyber security breaches. No. The trouble with the Internet is that it doesn’t forget what you said a month ago. Gone are the days where you can make grand declarations about your intentions, knowing full well, that they will soon be forgotten by the natural passing of time. Nope. Much like a spontaneously acquired bad tattoo, the things you say on the Internet are permanent and they will forever haunt you.
For the record, a month ago, when I said I would be posting more frequently, I really did think that I would be posting more frequently. I was so inspired and motivated. I even had a some semblance of plan.
But then….life happened.
You know the story: Things got busy. I got overwhelmed. I felt exhausted and pulled in 80 different directions. Not surprisingly, this whole blogging thing got put on the back-burner. And all those promises I made? I just couldn’t keep them.
Here I was, a grand total of four weeks into my announcement that I was going to make some really big changes to this blog and my life, and I was failing. Miserably failing.
And that is when the doubts started creeping in. I started hearing that voice. The one that whispers in your ear late at night and reminds you that you are being foolish for trying something new. The one that, contrary to what most motivational posters would suggest, informs you that, actually, you CAN’T do it. It is that deceptively cruel voice of rationalization that convincingly persuades you to be content with being content.
That. Damn. Voice.
For the past month, it is all I have been able to hear.
As a result, I found myself in some sort of weird blogging purgatory; contemplating, doubting and feeling like a big fat failure, but lacking any real motivation to do anything about it. I was ready to quit. Call a spade a spade, and throw in the blogging towel.
And then I remembered something. Something vitally important.
I love blogging. I really do. And I missed it.
Why was I about to quit doing something that I love? And, perhaps more importantly, why did I even allow this thought to cross my mind?
I’ll tell you why. Because I am human. And I have an Ego. An Ego that is constantly craving validation and success. An Ego that, at the first sign of failure, gets real vocal. I know my Ego well. We go back a long way. Forever, actually. And she is pretty used to running the show around here. It’s her thing. It’s what she does. So can I really blame her for all those late night whispers? She is, after all, just trying to protect me from the pain of failure?
No. I can’t blame her…but I can outsmart her.
You see, my Ego (and your ego and everyone’s ego) is so narrow-minded; only thinking about the outcome…not the process. My Ego wants to measure success in ‘likes’ or ’email subscriptions’ or ‘the number of blog posts’. What my Ego fails to realize is that actual joy…you know, that thing that everyone is so desperately searching for…well, it is not found in ‘likes’. It comes from the act of creating, not from the outcome of that creation. It comes from engaging in work that stirs your soul and makes you a wee bit giddy. Joy comes from trying, not from succeeding.
If you don’t believe me then I challenge you to go off into the world and accomplish something great. And then wait. Wait and see if that accomplishment sustains you. Spoiler alert: it won’t. You will soon find yourself searching for newer, bigger, better things to accomplish. You will spend your life chasing accomplishments, not enjoying the moment.
That whole failure thing…yeah, it is a bummer. Failure never feels good. But it is not a deal-breaker. It does not have to define the experience.
So, sorry Ego, I am taking back the reigns. I’m driving this car now. It might be a slow ride, filled with lots of peaks and valleys. And probably we are going to make a lot of stops along the way; to refuel, take in a sunset and clean goldfish crumbs out of some impossibly unreachable crevice. But, gosh darn it, we are gonna enjoy the ride.
You hear me, Ego? Come hell or high water, we are going to just enjoy this blogging ride.
Now get in the back seat and buckle up.