When I created this website I told myself I would regularly blog and then George started talking to me. George started saying stuff like, "Who do you think you are? Blogging is for people who are really smart and have things to say. If you write stuff down publicly everyone will be able to see how silly you are and even catch your grammatical errors. Your a 57 year old woman who has a hard time with technology and now you're gonna blog?" George just wouldn't stop.
So week 1 became week 2 became week 3 and the weeks became months and sadly I kept listening to George. I kept finding excuses and reasons for not writing. Everyone tells me there are good reasons to blog. It's a good way to pass along helpful information, helps prospective clients get to know me, keeps my website fresh and active, helps get my thoughts onto paper. Logically I knew I needed to do it - heck I even wanted to but the voice of George is pretty darn strong. George's voice was winning and I kept postponing. Fear had its grip on me and George was feeding that monster.
Are you wondering why I kept listening to George when clearly his messages were not helpful? They rob me of jumping in and taking risks, they make me feel badly about myself, and even convince me that it's more fun to be bored than to try new things. George is forever reminding me that to do something puts me in harm's way. People might laugh at me, criticize me, I might offend someone. George kept telling me it would be just awful to feel the feelings of shame or humiliation or risk any conflict .
I did my best to ignore George, yelled at him to shut up, and even tried to numb his voice out with bad TV and food but he just kept getting louder and louder.
Oh, have I told you that George is my brain. Yes, George has been with me since day 1 of life and although he has been very helpful to me at times - the poor guy was pretty traumatized when we were little and vulnerable (there was a lot of anger and critical statements floating around our house) and so he can be pretty negative. The sad part is he thinks he is protecting me - by telling me to not do things that are scary he thinks he is saving me from feelings like fear and embarrassment.
Yesterday, I was sitting in session with a client and working on facing fears and man oh man it all hit me like a 2 by 4. The only way to face my fear around blogging was to actually do it ... no more excuses, no more numbing. It's not like it was new information but rather that this particular fear - performance anxiety if you will - has been part of my story for years and I will go to my grave working on it.
As I turned on the computer to write I noticed George putting up a fight and so I thanked him for all his energy and for his comments and even gently told him that he thought he was being helpful and then I started writing and look at me go. It feels good to feel the fear and do it anyway so now the question is will I push the publish button. I'm noticing that George is still chattering away and telling me its not a good idea but I also know that I always feel better when I've challenged myself and when I take risks.
I'm wondering if you feel the same way and are wanting to take some risks in your own life? One small step in taking more risks is to name your brain so that you can have some distance from any thoughts that might get in the way of your risk taking. By naming your brain you can gently hold him or her at a distance from you and talk back ... thank your brain for that information and then you decide if you want to listen to a particular thought or not.
Thoughts are just thoughts and feelings are just feelings - no one lies on their death bed and says I sure wish I avoided risking embarrassment - people lay on their deathbeds and talk about the things they didn't do.