Reverb 10: Try + Beyond Avoidance.

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I’ve been struggling with how to address both the Try and Beyond Avoidance prompts in the Reverb 10 challenge. They seem so similar and so scary and they both bring up a crapload of judgment. The Ego has been dying to get a crack at the keyboard to address both of these prompts, so I’ve been laying low, trying to find a shadow in the back of the cave to hide in until the Ego finds something else to sink its teeth into. Only problem is the Ego is that shadow in the back of the cave.

Try.

What do you want to try next year?

Is there something you wanted to try in 2010?

What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

~ Kaileen Elise

I’ve said before and I’ll say it a hundred more times that my memory sucks. I have a hard time going back to the beginning of the year (or even to last month) to look at what I should have done or wanted to do. Part of that is being focused on the present moment and not getting caught up in the past or shoulda, coulda, woulda BS. Part of that is fear in looking back at what I wanted to do and didn’t do for more fear of failing miserably and having people point and laugh or turn away grimacing, thinking, “What a shame, she coulda been a contendah …

Even fear can’t escape a bad memory.

What I can remember is taking a look at Alex Franzen’s delicious little manifesto cheat sheet for 2011 and thinking, “Oh hell yeah, I’ve got to DO this!” And then never scheduling the time to do so. Why not? Simple. I read her answers.

My Ego reminded me that I couldn’t possibly be as wise or witty or wordsmart or creative as she. My Ego reminded me that I will never be Alex_Franzen or Danielle LaPorte or [Other Awesome Creative-Juju-Spirit Demanding Her Dreams Be Reality], so I might as well stop right here and accept who I am and forget about it.

Funny thing is, my Ego is right. I’ll never be any of those women. I’m not wise or witty or wordsmart or creative like any of them. I’m wise and witty and wordsmart and creative like me. It really is important to stop right here and accept who I am. But not to forget about it and halt progress; to use my own creative-juju-spirit to move forward. Just like I’m not them, they’re not me, and there’s no sense in getting all caught up in the fact that I can’t share their gifts when I have my own gifts to share.

And dammit, I’m gonna share ’em.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

~ Tim Robbins (as Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption)

Beyond Avoidance.

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?

(Bonus: Will you do it?)

~ Jake Nickel

Charlie Gilkey has these amazing planning calendars. I know because I bought all of them in early 2010. I’ve even used some of them. Except when I haven’t. Which has been most of the months since I got them. He’s so committed to the growth of the people he creates for, he even sends you a nice little follow up email a few weeks or so after your purchase to ask you if you’re using what you bought. And still … nothing. Almost.

Oh, how easy it is to delete an email.

I’ve been avoiding using the planners because the original goals I set haven’t yet been met. I haven’t completed the eBook on Coming Out yet. I haven’t spoken at Penny Lane to kids about how I allowed my experience there changed my life for the better. I haven’t written 3 posts a week on a consistent basis for 3 months. I haven’t worked on development of a product that I know will help people (and boost my business). And a slew of others.

I’ve gotten excited about writing these things down, and when it comes to the doing, that old friend fear steps in and brings my old foe, Ego.  They spin a tale of not being good enough, smart enough, wise enough, expert enough as the reason I haven’t delved into these things. For my own good, they are keeping me away from the planners. So I avoid the tasks because I fear the outcome will be failure. All of this happens in a split second, subconsciously—unconsciously—and until I shine a line into the back of that shadowed cave, I don’t see my fear, my Ego for who they are: shadows in the back of a cave.

::

I’m making a commitment to you, and so I don’t make it lightly, I’m also making it to myself (and publicly). That commitment is to follow through with completing my manifesto worksheet for 2011. Then to follow through with writing the actual manifesto. Then to follow through with using Charlie’s awesome planners in setting clear and specific goals and action steps to achieve those goals. Then to follow through with scheduling time to make movement on said specific action items. Then to follow through and share my progress with you.

And now off to write that letter to myself from my Future Self …

This post is written as Days 18 and 20 of Reverb 10, inspired and created by Gwen Bell (Best of ’09) and her rockingly awesome cohorts. Are you reverbing too? I’d love for you to share yourself in the comments below.

  • I would like to say something: Who says (I mean, besides you, in the past) that you have to complete your Coming Out book by any particular date? What if you set the goal to complete it when you are ready to, you know, come out with it? I’m not letting you off the hook. But I am also, not gonna cheerlead you into feeling like you have to live up to MY expectations. What if the work comes, organically, when it comes? I think that writers, artists – all creators – so often place ourselves into the double bind of making money from our work while, at the same time, doing authentic work. And I gotta tell ya, for me, it’s not always gonna line up. So, while I am totally on your team – I am also on the team of ‘trying is sometimes good enough.” Only you will know when that is true.

    • Thanks Amy. I totally agree with you. I struggle sometimes with the balance between pushing myself to let the writing out (oxymoronic, right?) and just letting it flow. I know that if I don’t create the space to write—if I just say “Oh, it’ll come when it comes”—I just need to check in with myself on that. Am I just letting it come when it comes or am I avoiding something. Thanks for reminding me to have that clarity. The writer’s soul is both strong and fragile …

      And I love that you’re on my team … your support means a great deal to me. Fo shiz.

  • Looking forward to reading your Coming Out ebook. I belong to a gay Christian community online and several of the women there have said we should write a “late bloomer” book because so many of us are. *twiddles thumbs* *looks away*

    So I understand about not getting around to it!

    I have an ebook I wrote and have not promoted. Another I haven’t finished writing. Thanks for the sense of sisterhood and the encouragement to keep intending.

    Jeanine

    • Oh, my dear, I would LOVE to see you and your “late bloomer” book get written and … *ahem* … promoted =)

      The ebook you’ve already written … what’s the topic & who’s it written for?

  • Oh man, your own brand of creative-juju-spiritness is so gorgeous, and so you. Don’t stop. Pretty plz.

  • Pingback: Motivation Monday: Truth is like the sun… — Authentic Realities()

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