Don’t worry, this is not a jaunt through my odd and overly large book collection. I bring this up as I came across a line early on in my re-reading I hadn’t noticed before. It was in the foreword and said ‘Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean’. Not exactly the most notable or quotable line from the book, but it was for me on this reading! Even as I carried on reading I had the compulsion to trot back and re-read the line and wonder what my grey little spongebox was trying to tell me.
Would you believe it turned out to be rather important, and it was something that will affect my life and by default, my business? I have always believed, just like in James Joyce’s novel ‘Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man’, that a person is the sum total of the fragments of other people and experiences, a walking jigsaw if you like. Well, that’s what I personally took away from the reading of it at any rate! I have always struggled with confidence and this has led to a lifetime of many failures and hesitations, missing out and falling flat. Sure I dust myself down and get up, but do I really? I look back and see failures and missed opportunities as my reality.
Of course striding out in my own business is my way of creating a new future for myself. The danger is that when something goes wrong (as it invariably does in a business!), in my mind I am telling myself that that’s just typical of me as a dumbass failure. I know I do! It’s what I’ve always done isn’t it? How in all the elements does a person fracture this concrete knowledge of themselves and create a positive future that is authentic and not just wishful thinking and mantras?
If this negative self-talk sounds familiar to you, perhaps we can work through this to carve a whole new outlook that is as real to you as all the screw ups of the past have been. Three things emerge as a possible way to move past this recurring, self-made trap of mine. One of the things I am going to change is my new perceived reality. An emotion is not just an emotion, it serves a purpose. Feeling a failure shouldn’t end there. Embrace the feeling, then use it to make sure THAT mistake is not repeated, and success will take its place. Instead of saying to myself that I always get things wrong and I should give it up, I shall tell myself that yes, things may be hard and go wrong, but if I give it up as I always do, things will never change. I can’t change my past decisions, but I can change how I decide things in the future! So the question will now be ‘What can I do now to correct my course and make this work?’
The second change I would like to implement is simplicity and clear planning. They have to be practised and applied at every step. As every freelancer and entrepreneur knows, it is so very easy to be swept away in the vision and the mission statement. ‘The Big Idea!’ I have chatted about this very issue in a few online groups this past week and realised I was setting myself up for failure yet again. A simple and clear plan I know is attainable with my existing skillset is the best way forward, and one that won’t result in the pervading reek of failure. ‘cuuzzz that’s getting old!
Third and final spongebox jumpstart will be ditching the excuses and applying accountability. I will start each week with 3 things I would like to accomplish in the whole week, just 3! I will actually write them in my scribble book and state beside each task why doing the task would make me feel happy and accomplished. The reason for wanting to do it being the driving force and the clearer goal. I hope these little 'tiplets' will inspire your own ideas to discover the successful version of you, you don’t have to be the sum total of your disasters. So dust yourself off and stop rolling round in the muck!