I have phases where I feel very together, solid, self-assured and at peace with where I am and how I am moving forward. And then I also have blips where I lose ground. I feel self-doubt, sometimes fear, and uncertainty is hard to embrace unless I have something with which to get a hold on something, anything, in the future.
A misplaced goal. A borrowed aspiration. An unnecessary benchmark.
I have noticed that when I am on shaky ground about where I am at, the following things happen:
- I get judgemental about the lives of people around me
- I can be extra critical of myself, and people around me
- It’s hard to be empathic
- I begin to “borrow” ideas from people around me. Things I see online, or “inspiring” folks around me, and I very easily imagine that these are things I aspire to
- I feel the tug to perform at being someone that lives and cares about those ideas
Noticing this has really helped me stop and think a lot of times, before I post stuff on my Instagram. It’s that middle step between points #4 and #5, where I’m able to stop, breathe, step back and remind myself what I have that account for, and what the post I am about to make is actually seeking to do. And then ascertain whether it’s necessary or not.
But what it’s really made me see is how shame is an old story that shows up in so many sub-narratives, rearing it’s head in so many different avatars, begging me to return to status quo. By kindling the critical, judgemental, insensitive parts of me, it somehow tries its hand at keeping me where I am, encouraging me to resist growth. By inducing fear, but also quickly giving me a false (and frightfully temporary!) sense of superiority and bravado by making me feel like I’m somehow better than everyone else, and where I once was.
So I might as well be happy with where I am no? Where’s the need to move ahead?
The question I can I move ahead, level-up, without this compulsion to run my current state down?