Jump into January

For Christmas, we decided to buy Him’s uncle a smart phone.  Not only that, but we also bought our parents a Google Home each.  All in the hope of helping them communicate with newer technology.  Within the aforementioned family members, there are a few technophobes: members of our family who are reluctant to move with the times.  Whereas one lot managed to go away and ‘work it out’, the others needed technical support.  And as much as it can be commonplace to laugh at ‘oldies’ and technology, their struggles caused them anxiety.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not poking fun or being disparaging about them, instead I’m empathising.  You see, when faced with a ‘challenge’ they needed self belief.  Trying to understand how to address Google – when they’d usually check the television or paper.  And getting their head around a phone that does more than make it call; new territory can be daunting.

We all need self belief.

Self meaning you and what you are.  

Belief being a faith; a trust; confidence.  

Something that it can be difficult to find in this fast-paced world.  

A year ago, my therapist helped me write a list of goals.  This was an activity that was to be integral to the healing of my mental health.  To have this list meant that first I had to understand that I was worth it.  This list included everyday things like keeping fit, gardening, meditating…and bigger things like the completion of writing my book.  And me being me; if it’s on a to-do list, it’s got to be done.

Scary times.

Firstly, to take on such a monumental project, when I was still healing emotionally, I was afraid that I might not be strong enough.  Self doubt and feelings of negativity plagued me at the periphery of my mind: lurking like dark shadows.  A bit like the sick feeling I get when I go running on a ‘bad-sight’ day.  A feeling I have to overcome by pinning my determination to my running vest and putting one Nike in front of another.  And so it went; one chapter after enough…and the story I wanted to write unfolded, became something else, and ended differently to what I ever thought.

Job done.  But not really.

Believe it or not, that was the easy bit.  Losing oneself in writing (don’t judge it’s what happened!), was a safe place to be.  A make believe world, which I can decide the paths and outcomes, without judgement or critique – my head, my world.  The hard bit was what came next…

What came next took more strength, resilience and courage, than I could have given it two years ago.  To submit, reflect, rewrite, take critique…were all, and still are, things that could quite easily send me spiralling backwards into a place of insecurity and hidden refuge.  But I’m persevering…

You see, I’ve had to keep the faith.  At one time I’d have hidden from the idea of being confident.  I’d had scuttled away after my initial shout out of ‘I’ve written a book’ and expected fate to take hold of the situation and miraculously publish the book.  But life isn’t like that is it?  

Books and films are full of flash forwards and miracles – a stretch of the imagination – all to give us a catharsis.  Therefore, to achieve my real life cathartic ending, I’ve had to write my own.  And that’s taken me to gather my growing self belief and to channel it into fulfilling my to-do list.

Therefore, not only has it been written, edited (more than once) and rewritten through critique of not just (gulp) others, but also my own (another big step), But I’ve e even continued (and I’m not ashamed to say) after two rejections.

Now, let me tell you: it’s not been easy!  Each time I’ve fallen, I’ve had to have a strong word with myself and faced it head on.  Armed with my ‘coping strategies (thank you my lovely therapist), ve kept going, and it is now well on its way to being launched by the end of the month.

Now, this strength and courage is hardly up there with what our NHS are doing at this awful time.  However, I still think  it’s worth talking about.  Not so you can give me a clap or medal for my achievement, but because I’ve learnt that it is good to share our successes – especially when fighting that black dog. 

Look around you and think about those who are striving for success.  What motivates them?  What do you think they’ve had to overcome to succeed?   I, for one, can think of many who have beaten the odds to survive.  Most of us won’t know because people don’t always share (unlike me who can at times over share!).

This is one of the main themes of my book: that we never know the full story, only the one we choose to see.  What goes on behind a facade is often hidden.  Even if you think someone is an open book, we never know the true story.  We all have our own and we are in charge of writing it.

So, finding confidence to work that new phone (no matter how many times you ring your nephew without knowing), or if you’re looking at your resolutions, yearly goals list, or even striving for an aspiration 

…take that leap and know that as large or as wide as it feels – anything is possible!

Have an aspirational new year!

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