Most of you don’t know me very well, if at all, so you don’t know the following:
When I do something, I do it hard core until I either decide I don’t like it, or that I’m not good at it.
I place extremely high expectations on myself.
Some of those expectations involve being able to “just get over it” and do the thing I’m trying to do.
Some of those expectations also involve being good at something instantly.
And that often leads to me not liking something because I’m not good at it. (Much easier to say I quit due to dislike than to admit I gave up because it was harder than I thought.)
So, it’s been what? A couple weeks, if that, that I’ve been blogging?
And I was so proud of myself for setting it up. And publishing some posts. And generally getting out there and doing the thing.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I started comparing my blog to other blogs. I became obsessed with my stats (bad, BAD idea). I was second-guessing every post idea I had. There was much typing and deleting. It was all rubbish.
And all of that thinking left my creativity more blocked than an intestine after eating an entire three-cheese pizza.
Instead of focusing on what I’d accomplished (yay!), I kept seeing where I fell short (according to my own ridiculous expectations).
Lucky for me, today was the final session in Havi’s Blogging Therapy course. Well, I wish it weren’t the last session, but if it had to be the last session, it was good it happened today.
We did a group check-in, so I decided I was willing to share all of this with the class.
And Havi so sweetly explained the concept called “chasing the pain”, which is a phenomenon that happens a lot when you are trying to deal with some sort of physical ailment.
Which was the perfect response because I know all about it in my own body.
It basically works like this:
I got my neck feeling better and now my shoulder hurts. Still working on my shoulder but my hips and knees needed attention. Got my hips and knees working better and now my upper back needs help.
In a nutshell, I fix one problem and another shows itself.
The same thing happens in dealing with our emotional stuff, too. Or so I am learning.
I worked through the fear of starting the blog, but then my tendency to expect too much of myself roared for attention.
And underneath these expectations, it became clear that I had turned this blog – which was supposed to be a place for me to be okay with less-than-perfect – into another bunch of Shoulds. Just another thing in my life to try to be perfect at.
As in, I should have published a new post already. Every post should be amazing and generate lots of comments.
To quote Havi: “There are no Shoulds in blogging.”
A much needed reminder for me to loosen up.
So that’s me, being real about how hard this is. Being honest that my perfectionism gets in my way. And inviting my friends to share in all the messiness with me.
Because, really, what else can I do other than to keep chasing the pain? Even though I’m still uncovering new stuff (emotionally and physically), I know I’ve gotten better overall. And that tells me that if I stop chasing it, the healing stops, too.