Oh my dear, beloved blog! It has been too long! Where has the time gone? Last time I posted, kids were just settling back in school and football season was starting. Now kids are getting ready for break, the football gods have decided who the best four teams in the nation are, and it is almost Christmas! It takes your breath away how quickly times passes!
So let me catch you up on what’s been going on. The Fall was FULL. Full with so many good things, but full nonetheless. I had the opportunity to speak in front of some amazing groups of men and women over the past few months. There is nothing I love more than seeing people eager to live as we were created- with purpose and for a purpose! I held my first Daring Moms group and another Daring Way™ retreat for women. Both groups were filled with strong, courageous, amazing ladies. It is a true honor to do this work with women who desire change and freedom in their lives. On the personal side, we took my son to his first college football game and enjoyed some great time with family and friends. Yes, FULL indeed!
Although I have been MIA from the blog, I have thought of you often and written about a hundred posts in my mind over the past three months. They were all really good- Ha! About three weeks ago, things finally settled down with my schedule, and I immediately thought that I wanted set aside some time to write. But an odd thing kept happening- I kept thinking of other things to do. I need to catch up on this. I need to read that. I need to contact so-and-so.
As my procrastination continued, I became more and more curious as to why I still had not put fingers to keyboard. Being the over-analyzer that I am, I did a little soul searching and realized I was dragging my feet because it felt a little vulnerable to post after so long. Vulnerable? Yeah.
My thought process went a little something like this: It’s been three months since my last post, so this next post needs to be REALLY awesome. Ugh it’s easier not to write then I don’t have to worry about looking foolish. It looks bad that I haven’t posted in three months; that’s not being very dedicated or intentional. I said I was going to a do a read-a-long. Where’s the read-a-long, Mazi???
In short, my self-doubt and self-criticism began to shout a little. As I shared before, having people read my writing feels very exposing for me. I can speak in front of groups of people everyday and twice on Sunday and feel completely at ease. But there is something about having people read, rather than hear, my words that feels more vulnerable to me. It feels more out of my control. When I speak, I can sense if my words are resonating or if I need to re-state something. But when I write, I’m just… putting it out there. Putting it out there for people to read and criticize and judge.
Yeah starting to write again after a three-month break felt very vulnerable. I realized I was out of practice in facing that vulnerability and doing it anyway. My muscles were a little weaker so my self-doubt was chirping a little louder, and as a result, my procrastination skills were a little stronger.
Has this ever happened to you? You want to do something but you keep thinking of fifty other things to do instead. You are really excited about starting something yet you never follow through. You've taken a break from something you enjoy but you're struggling to find the wherewithal to pick the activity back up. Why do we put off doing what we say we want to do? Why do we procrastinate??
I think we avoid and procrastinate for a host of reasons. We don’t know where to start. We don’t know what to do. We’re afraid of making the wrong decision/doing it wrong. We feel vulnerable and don’t even realize it. The thing we want to do feels uncertain and exposing. We don’t know the outcome. We sub-consciously know we expect ourselves to be perfect so the thought of having to work that hard/try that hard feels daunting so we stop before we begin. We avoid doing what we want to do, what is good for us for all sorts of reasons.
And then the longer we avoid something, the bigger it seems in our mind to actually do make the decision or call the person or submit the proposal. Avoidance doesn’t make things smaller. It makes them seem bigger and even more insurmountable. We stop practicing doing the hard and uncomfortable things so we forget we actually can do the hard and uncomfortable things. It is difficult to get back into the routine of doing the things that are good for us and so we keep practicing avoidance.
Sometimes we have to stop thinking, stop planning, and just start doing. In my case, I had to stop thinking about what would be the “right” topic for my next/first post, and I had to just start typing. Action is so much more effective than intention. I’ve learned that in my life if I don’t keep practicing being vulnerable, then my doubts and insecurities are liable to take control of my life. If I want to keep my insecurities at bay, then I have to regularly practice doing the thing that makes me feel uncomfortable.
So I’m back in the saddle again with blogging. This blog continues to be an interesting teacher for me- it is something I enjoy and actually wish I could do more of, but it is definitely outside my comfort zone. It feels good to put fingers to keys after so long. It feels good to be uncertain and vulnerable. Breaks are good, but we have to know when it’s time to saddle up and start riding again. Let’s saddle up together and start practicing doing the hard, uncomfortable things! Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. Practice action rather than avoidance!
What do you need to stop thinking about and just start doing? What saddle do you need to get back on? What are you avoiding that you actually want to do or that would be good for you? Are practicing the behaviors in your life that you want to make permanent?