The Ninth Try’s a Charm?

Okay, people. I’m just going to lay it out here.

This is the ninth post I’ve started since the last one I published. Ninth. I kid you not.

I’ve had a really horrible month of insomnia, depression and anxiety. Basically a repeat of the hormonal wonkiness I wrote about previously, except a hell of a lot worse. (I guess I should just learn to expect that reasonable changes to my meds lead to an unreasonable and unexpected amount of turmoil.)

Not a lot of work got done this last month – my energy went first to client sessions, and if there wasn’t anything left, well, tough turds, nothing else got done.

I spent a lot of time wallowing in despair, and questioning whether I can pull off this business of starting a business at all.

I even went on my first ever self-imposed internet sabbatical last week. I was hoping it would kick the writer’s block, but four of the nine posts were started during or after the sabbatical. Although, I suppose, technically, if I publish #9, I might have to give the sabbatical some of the credit for that.

Either way, it appears that I can’t write posts as though everything is fine if everything isn’t fine.

I peeked in at the Twitter Bar on Saturday and the lovely Catherine Caine was handing out random compliments. I was feeling pretty blue so I asked for one. Here’s what she said about me:

Hey everyone, @victoriashmoria is super-duper smart and compassionate and a provider of delightful clarity.

Isn’t that awesome?

Besides making me shed a tear or seven, it made me realize that I have been doing a really lame job of giving myself credit and cutting myself slack. Not that that’s new for me, but there’s nothing like a big fat reminder to renew my resolve at shifting the patterns.

So, this is me, reminding myself of some things I need to remember. Maybe they’re things you need to remember, too.

Cut me some slack, Jack!

We can only base our decisions on the information we have at the time.

We had a certain amount of money in the bank when I decided to quit my job. And I had a certain number of clients. The time felt right to quit and focus on my business. I couldn’t predict that I’d wind up having a few very bad months with low productivity, so why do I beat myself up for quitting when I did?

Shit happens, and you just do the best you can with it.

I’ve got some fucked up (subconscious) stories about what causes what (with some warped Law of Attraction bullshit thrown in for good measure). It’s really easy for me, on top of the actual issue I’m dealing with, to blame myself for whatever is happening. Especially physical and emotional stuff.

Not even slightly helpful.

Capacity changes, needs change, health changes, energy levels change. And in response, you shift deadlines and priorities. And meet your needs the best you can.

We don’t control the outcome, so we’d damn well better learn how to enjoy the journey.

Enjoying the journey doesn’t come easily for perfectionists. I am all about the outcome, and if the outcome doesn’t suit me, get ready for a tantrum.

But, I’m trying to shift that pattern. Maybe our financial situation will allow me to continue focusing on my biz full-time until it supports us, maybe it won’t.

Easier said than done, but I really want to enjoy what I’m doing now, without worrying about what may or may not happen later.

Toot toot!

And now, I’m going to remind myself of some of the things I’m good at. And some of the things I’m proud of myself for.

I was there for my clients despite all that’s going on.

I did my best to listen better to my body and give it what it needed.

I managed to get a birthday card and a Father’s Day card to my dad on time.

I’m probably going to publish this post even though I don’t love it and I’m afraid I sound like a grouchy, whiney baby. Or like I’m full of myself.

I was aware of my energy levels enough to shift priorities based on the quality of energy I had available.

Which meant I still managed to finish turning my Shmorian Thing-Finding class into the Shmorian Thing-Finding Kit.

I did a good job of staying present through this shitty month and only numbed out occasionally.

I am awesome at asking questions that help my Right People untangle their tangly stucknesses.

I notice patterns and pick up on clues that lead to plenty of A-ha moments, for me and my clients.

I made two of my past dreams come true: I taught scuba diving in the Caribbean and had a 10-year career in IT (yes, I quit both of those things, but originally they were dreams of mine). Surely I can make this one happen, too.

I’m a superstar at helping people feel safe and supported as they work through an issue.

I’m really good at breaking down complex ideas and processes into simple, digestible pieces.

I haven’t given up, and I still know I made the right decision to quit my job.

Join me?

I know I need to get better at giving myself credit for my accomplishments and appreciating my successes. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. So let’s do some horn-tooting together, okay?

What can you toot about in the comments? Or what’s something you can cut yourself slack on?

List as few or as many as you’d like. And even if you don’t want to do it here (in public), for the love of the gods, do it privately! We all could use a little more self-appreciation.

15 thoughts on “The Ninth Try’s a Charm?

  1. Lilly

    I like you Victoria! You are such a nice person to twitter with. Tweeter with? Anyway, I enjoy your positive light-filled energy and spirit of genuine helpfulness. I’m trying to be more conversive on people’s blogs, when I appreciate them, and not be so quiet. So HI!

    Yes giving yourself credit and cutting yourself slack, I have been working on that too. It’s hard to be a person that professionally shows up for others, and then remember to be there for yourself to recharge the batteries, or even give yourself enough time to dive inward for helpful resources, but that is what I am trying to do.


  2. Natalia

    Victoria, you are brave and I love your posts.

    Many warm hugs to you.

    This is a great idea. I got the rebellious body thing going on too, so…

    I could cut myself slack when I get sick and not feel bad for needing to recharge — it was even the weekend, for Chrissake!

    I could cut myself slack for not noticing when I need to slow down and rest more, so my body doesn’t force me to recharge by giving me flu-like symptoms and making it impossible for me to stay up for too long.

    Unless I feel like I’m dying, I always show up to work (I work from home, but I mean I’ll work instead of just sleeping) and do my best.

    That’s all I’m ready for right now. Thank you for the opportunity to share our own toots and stuff in your space :)
    .-= Natalia´s last blog ..‘I could feel the words bubbling up inside me’ =-.

  3. Jane

    It is indeed the charm. And I had a moment as I read your list of ‘omg I could never accomplish these sorts of things’ – then I wondered what the pain in my posterior was, and yes, it was irony, sinking its fangs in.

    I can cut myself some slack at the moment on being tired – I’m working full-time, doing a postgraduate degree part-time, I’ve damaged my foot and pollen is out to get me. Being tired sometimes is probably normal. It doesn’t mean that I’m a layabout slacker.

  4. Patty K

    Oh. I can so relate – starting posts that don’t get finished, worrying about money before it actually becomes a problem…and having that all interfere with enjoying and being in the moment. Big sigh.

    Funny how easy it is to blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong, and yet have trouble giving ourselves credit when things go right.

    YAY! for you in recognizing your strengths and and cutting yourself some slack. (Whenever I remember, I try to treat myself as my own best friend. Something that sounds easy to do…but in reality, not so much.)

    To join the party, I would say that I have a talent for being funny. And I’m brave enough to be real.

    I love reading your posts. I think you have great insight and you DO describe complex things in simple language. Thank you for writing.
    .-= Patty K´s last blog ..Introvert survival techniques from the trenches =-.

  5. elizabeth

    Oh yes, the worrying about money before it is a problem. I know that one.

    Yay for cheering yourself on and cutting yourself some slack! I could use a little of that. I could give myself slack for not “working” 8 hours a day; I am figuring this thing out, and I am actually working more than I realize – it just looks different.

    To join in, I’d say: I am good at seeing and appreciating the beauty in ordinary things; I can tell stories; and I am pretty good at making people feel safe enough to be vulnerable. Hey, that feels rather nice.

    I do love your posts. I tend to come away with something I need for my own stuff, and I am always inspired by your bravery.
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..the walrus said =-.

  6. Victoria Post author

    Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing, you lovely people, you! I so appreciate the encouragement. The blues have a tendency to make it feel as though nobody’s reading (even if they totally are), so your words feel like warm hugs.

    @Lilly – Oh yes, being there for *us* and not just for others is so challenging to remember. See you on the twitters! ;-)

    @Natalia – I totally relate to working unless I feel like I’m dying – I remember a few years ago I still sat at my computer when I had the shingles! I wish you much slack in the area of recharging!

    @Jane – You are absolutely doing a LOT, and it’s completely reasonable to be tired! If it helps, you have my permission to take a good long nap!

    @Catherine – Thanks, m’dear. You keep rocking your thing, too. :)

    @Patty K – You nailed it with “Funny how easy it is to blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong, and yet have trouble giving ourselves credit when things go right.” That right there just goes to show how we’re not even rational about it. If we could just shift to equal parts blame and credit, I wonder what kind of changes we’d see!

    And yes – you ARE funny, and brave enough to be real (including wearing pajamas in public)!

    @elizabeth – Having the work look different (and therefore appear to be less even if it’s not) has been a huge challenge for me. It’s been 8 months and I’m still trying to figure it out! Your photos definitely show that you can see the beauty in ordinary things – thank you for sharing them with the world. And telling wonderful stories and providing safety for people are beautiful gifts to have.

  7. Bridget

    You know what I love about you?
    your ability to work with what shows up. You had a month of slog show up, and you brought heart to it, and you worked with it and then you shared it with us.
    Neither fun or easy, but something to be worked through.
    Thank you for going there. Thank you for being here!
    .-= Bridget´s last blog ..Bridget Breaks It Down- Intuition =-.

  8. Rose

    I’m under pressure from myself to enter two competitions and get a novel draft finished by this weekend. Only one of those is a chance that won’t come around again; so why don’t I just focus on that?

    I don’t like it when people have expectations of me. AND THAT’S ALLOWED. Darn it, i’m allowed to keep quiet about some of my projects – to take my time.

    I’ve been a writer for over 5 years. Just because I might not finish my poems in time for the competition this year doesn’t mean I’m suddenly not one. If being published in an anthology doesn’t make me a writer, entering a contest certainly won’t.

    Thank you for providing this space. We all need to encourage ourselves more in following our dreams, but life and society catch up and quell that idea. You’ve certainly helped me in finding my thing, so however tired you’ve been, remember that your previous work helps us every day.

  9. Char Brooks

    Hey Victoria:

    Great reminder to remember the things we do that work for us. Because, like you, I’m all about the outcome too – and stuff like our health – can get in the way of that outcome that I crave so much.

    I so want to help people make informed choices about their healthcare – the thing is, I don’t control whether people want my help. Nor do I control whether what I do is actually helpful to them.

    What I do give myself credit for is doing my very best to show up with compassion, with knowledge, and in an honest way whether that is with my family, my friends, my colleagues or in my business.
    And quite frankly, I credit the ability to do this to luck and God – without which I wouldn’t be here to acknowledge this.

    Thanks for the opportunity to focus on what’s good! And thank you for your refreshing honesty.

  10. Kerry Rowett

    I’m so sorry you had such a yucky month, thank you so much for your bravery and honesty in sharing. I can definitely relate to focusing on the outcome rather than enjoying the journey and the worrying about money before it becomes a problem.

    I really like the way you reminded yourself of all the things you didn’t know when you made your decision to leave your job – which absolutely sounds like it was the best one! And reminding yourself of all the things you are good at was such a lovely thing to do for yourself too.

    I’m sure everyone doing this kind of work (which is fabulously brave in itself) loses their nerve at one point or another … I know I have … and then all of a sudden, *hopefully*, things start flowing again. I hope that happens for you next month, and I’m sure it will.

    Thanks again for sharing :)
    .-= Kerry Rowett´s last blog ..Change doesnt have to be hard =-.

  11. Andrew Lightheart

    Hi Shmoria

    First off, it’s so good to hear from you. Yours is the third blog I check (I don’t do RSS) and I’ve been missing you here and on Twitter.

    Secondly, big big snaps for getting through it by just writing about it. I’m a big fan of letters to yourself, and I’m finding that when I’m stuck, writing about what I *want* to be writing about and what’s making me stuck weirdly helps a lot.

    Thirdly, it took me months and MONTHS to realise last year that it wasn’t totally my fault that my small business wasn’t making as much money IN THE RECESSION, and that I wasn’t the only small business person to not have an enormous forward order book…

    Fourthly, I found your writing here full of power and clarity.

    Fifthly, I’m finding that allowing myself to adapt my capacity depending on my circumstances is allowing me to sometimes set not-totally-super-SUPER-human goals. (Jen Louden’s stuff has been helping me with this.)

    Sixthly, you’re great.

    Seventhly, I hear you, honey.
    .-= Andrew Lightheart´s last blog ..How to stop interrupting people – an experiment =-.

  12. Jennifer Louden

    Thanks Andrew for saying my stuff helped. I love your honesty – it’s what we need, it helps us all. And hormonal hell sucks and then sucks again. May you find good support and ease for that… and I swear by Sleepblend. Sending waves of ease and love… to us all!
    .-= Jennifer Louden´s last blog ..The Farm Fantasy Complete with Yurt =-.

  13. Victoria Post author

    @Bridget – Thanks so much, Bridget.

    @Rose – I’m honored to have been able to help in your Thing-Finding process, m’dear! You’re so right – entering a contest – or not – doesn’t determine whether or not you’re a writer. And damn right you can keep quiet about your projects!

    @Char – I, for one, am amazed at your consistent showing up and sharing your compassion. Truly.

    @Kerry – I wish us *both* lots of creative flow!

    @Andrew – You are so, so sweet. I think I need to hire you to be my full-time cheerleader.

    @ Jen – I so appreciate the commiserations. And thanks for the tip on Sleepblend – I’ll check it out!

  14. Lori-Ann

    Victoria, you are a million times helpful, and supportive, and the best question-asker ever. I have one of your “ask-it-to-yourself” questions on a post-it that I move in my journal from week to week. It goes something like, “Am I choosing things that are best for me all the way around?” It has helped me enormously in making all kinds of decisions.
    I’m so happy for you that you’ve pulled yourself through this month and that you have shared your thoughts and experiences. Thanks, too, for cutting yourself some slack, and showing us all a good example.
    Now, I think I will take on your suggestions and think about a few things myself, slack-cutting and tootingwise.

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