I was all gung-ho about writing every day for 100 days and then the next day came and I didn’t. No matter. Try again, fail again, etc. etc.
I’m heading on back to the questions from that little mini Inner Critic PDF I mentioned the day before yesterday. I guess it’s now asking me to get more specific and use some of the words and phrases that my inner critic specifically says to me. I find this a difficult exercise. I’m not sure I really have an actual voice in my head for that one – it’s more a feeling, or a set of beliefs.
Anyway, here’s what the exercise has asked me to do:
What are the things you can pull out that you’ve come to believe about yourself? e.g. “I’ll never be as successful as her” might stem from a belief that “I’m not good enough or smart enough to have success.” Or perhaps “I’m not deserving of success”.
Hey, actually that’s maybe easier for me than the phrases. Still, gotta think about it for a while because I have to get straight into the beliefs without some triggering phrases.
- I believe that I’m lazy.
- I believe that I don’t have a good enough work-ethic to ever really be “successful” or anything more than average.
- I believe that I’m not as smart or talented as people generally think I am.
- I believe I’m really selfish and not “genuinely” kind.
- I believe I could do with a healthy dose of “getting over myself” and sometimes I get pretty sick of spending time with myself.
- I believe I’m weak-willed and if I wasn’t I’d put the required regimen in place that would have me drawing and finishing drawing projects, and I would eat healthily all the time and I’m basically going to drive myself into an early sugar-lined grave due to my lack of will-power.
So yeah. A bedrock of Not Good Enough.
So, the next thing I’m asked to do is to Challenge These Beliefs. Not to change them as such, but to run through the following challenges for each of them:
What if this belief wasn’t true?
If this belief wasn’t true, how would I show up in [some] part of my life?
If this belief wasn’t true, what different decisions would I make?
Well this feels nearly impossible. Does she mean how things would be different if I weren’t lazy or if I didn’t believe I was lazy? Coz how could changing my belief do anything to change facts? Okay, so if I didn’t believe I was lazy maybe I would do more, maybe I would try to do more anyway. But then I’d be tired. I’ve tried doing more before, I’m sure of it, I remember it. I just got tired and cranky and over-extended. So now my belief is switching to less being “lazy” and more “easily tired”.
Or maybe I’m not so lazy. Maybe life is just hard.
I kind of don’t really believe that (yet?) though. I still think that I’m lazy. Because I feel like I look around and everyone else seems to have their shit together with tidy houses and no cobwebs in their kids bedrooms, and if something spills they clean it up right away and don’t wait for the dogs to “help”. And they hoover. Like every day. I feel like I deserve a medal if I hoover three times a week. And you know what else? It all just seems so bloody pointless!
Okay, okay, I get a joyful feeling from a clean and tidy environment, but the cost just seems irredeemably high. I mean, how many hours of my precious finite life am I going to spend on dusting? I can tell you right now – exactly none. Maybe one. One hour across my whole life. Yeah, I can do that.
Ahem. C’mon though self, be honest. You waste hours and hours of your “precious finite life” on activities that bring a lot less to your existence than dusting or hoovering. And you claim that they’re bringing you happiness. Well, I don’t know how much “happiness” I actually feel they bring. But I for sure keep engaging in the activities.
Because I believe that I’m “due” rewards for how hard life is.
That’s one I didn’t write down above. And if that weren’t true? Would I show up differently in my life? Might I stop turning up as an evening ogre who is resentful of any claim on my time by anything other than “relaxation”.
Maybe I would.
I think that might be nice.