Archive for Creating My Life
There is a phenomenon in Jungian psychology called projection. The idea is that we project onto others that which we can’t/don’t want to see in ourselves. We see qualities in someone else that we ourselves possess. And, therapy being therapy, the emphasis is primarily on unacceptable or threatening feelings.
I have found the idea to be helpful at times. I’ve noticed that whenever I have a strong emotional reaction to what someone else says or does and I look at my own thoughts/ behaviour I can usually find examples of where I have behaved in a similar way. Not a particularly pleasant realisation. But one that helps me be less judgemental and to learn to take responsibility for my own experience rather than blaming others.
But what’s less talked about is the positive side of the equation. If we are projecting the things we don’t like about ourselves then maybe we are projecting the things we do like too and are equally unaware of them. This got me thinking and I invented a game I called ‘Mrs Projection Head’ (pun intended). To play you need to be willing to suspend judgement and assume that projection, as I’ve described it, is what is actually happening when we look at others.
Then, have a trawl through your mind and think about what it is you like/admire in others. Take a “walk” through your day and think about your friends, family, and people at work. You don’t even have to know them personally. Consider also celebrities, historical figures and characters in books. Which of all the hundreds of thoughts/stories you tell yourself about what they are like would you most like to be true of you? Which would you choose to focus on and strengthen? Which would you choose to develop? Who would you BE in other words?
Can you find examples of these qualities in your life already? By looking for them you will help to reinforce them in yourself. Even if you can’t see them chances are those around you can. Ask those closest to you if they can you give you examples.
Take that picture of all that is best in others with you as you go about your day today, knowing that in order for you to see that particular picture you must have those qualities within you first.
You are already that which you admire in others. You just haven’t seen it yet!
I’ve been sitting in a cafe for about 40 minutes but I haven’t produced much that I could put on my blog or elsewhere. But that’s OK right? My commitment from learning discipline was just to write for 15 minutes about anything I fancied, not to writing a blog post or article or even something I thought was half decent. So, actually, I’ve had a resounding success. But that fact passed me by and I’ve been feeling worse and worse because I wasn’t producing enough.
Earlier this morning I imagined myself going from cafe to cafe, writing copiously. I’d moved the goal posts in my head and not noticed. So, when I found myself struggling to write more my energy began to drop.
Last Thursday, I’d deliberately set a goal (just 15 minutes writing) that I felt I could manage easily. But I’m used to struggle. I’m used to hard, to goals being hard won. I’ve made a habit of it.
But I caught myself in time. I kept my commitment to 15 minutes writing so, hoorah, hoorah! Today my writing was a resounding success!
After two hours of diversionary tactics —
A phone call
A load of washing —
I finally sit in the chair,
Pen poised on paper
And I hesitate.
I am scared.
Scared of putting myself “out there”
Scared of what you might think of me
Because the writing may be
J u s t P l a i n D u l l.
But, what other choice is there?
Ignore the impulse.
Ignore the call.
Stay forever comfortable
While life’s potential continues to beckon
And I look the other way.
— Not today
Today I will be done with mediocre.
Today I will write fearlessly.
. . . sitting in the chair
— I write.
This morning I found myself thinking about the nature of discipline after reading two different views about how often to publish blog posts. One recommends publishing only when you have something to say and the other suggests writing at regular intervals. The latter is Chris Guillibeau’s preference who says “Set a schedule and never miss a post . . . this isn’t so much about the readership–most people would forgive me if I missed a day, and many wouldn’t even notice. Instead, it’s about SELF-DISCIPLINE”.
Now those of you who have been around a while will remember that on my return from Phoenix, I intended to publish a blog post every day. I didn’t do so for long and so was wondering whether or not Chris’s approach might be a useful one for me to follow. But there’s something about the word ‘discipline’ that leaves me cold.
Whenever I read something that suggests I practice discipline, I find myself silently screaming “No, no. Don’t make me do it. I want to do it my way”. No wonder I don’t like it. The story I tell about discipline is that it is a form of coercion. Something demanded from the outside that necessitates doing it someone else’s way.
It’s a story I suspect, that’s a hangover from school days when the teachers seemed all powerful and from childhood in general when parents or other adults were in control. Discipline conjures up having to tidy my room, do my piano practice or something connected with the PE instructor on the parade ground. And I am obviously not alone. If you look in Google at the most common searches people carry out, that contain the word “discipline”, you will find that of the 200 most popular, way over half (I stopped counting at 100) relate to children, kids, toddlers, teachers, parents, classrooms, schools etc. No wonder the idea has such negative connotations.
But I am no longer a child and am free to choose a new view. I can make it an internal choice now rather than an external command.
However, writing a blog post everyday wasn’t a goal that was connected to something I really wanted. It was a goal I made for it’s own sake. But I DO want to get better at writing. I want to discover more of what I have to say. Writing helps me clarify my thoughts and make adjustments to how I approach things. I hope I will inspire others to think about things differently too and to experiment with other ways of being and doing things.
So rather than try to be disciplined and only post when I have something to say, or set a schedule and never miss a post, or make a post everyday, I would rather put my energy into practising the craft and spend at least 15 minutes a day writing something – anything. Doesn’t matter. Just get my pen on paper. That’s a discipline that’s worth learning for me.
As Steve Chandler would say – “Discipline is remembering what you want”.
Continuing from planning from the present – a quick recap: I’m finding that being without direction is very demotivating but the last project I tried to create didn’t keep me on track.
Then, last week, an opportunity occurred that I would normally say “no” to since it’s in the internet marketing (IM) field and I thought I’d left that behind. But recently I’ve been working on my old websites because I’m finding that taking any action is better than moping around or waiting for the discovery of what I really want to do with my life.
So when Ed Dale, internet marketer extraordinaire, came onto my radar, offering a mentoring programme, I decided to ignore the “nay sayer” voices in my head telling me:
- you’ve tried that so many times before and it never works
- he won’t want to work with you
- you won’t get in anyway
- you’ll get bored with the work like always and find an excuse to move onto something else
- blah, blah, blah
and look for all the reasons to say “yes”.
The more I thought about it the more attractive the idea became. A full 12 months when I would know what I was up to, where I would be supported to stay on track, not to mention the expertise of someone on the cutting edge of a field that, no matter how many times I walk away from it, I seem to be drawn back. Maybe this is an opportunity to combine where I’ve been (internet marketing) with where I want to go (coaching).
Interestingly, at the beginning of the Coaching School when Steve suggested I might like to combine the two I was adamant that I would not. My idea of what that would look like was not something that appealed to me at all and I was feeling very jaded with the whole IM scene.
Fast forward 8 months and, with the benefit of all the insights and experience gained during that time I now see the idea very differently. So, I paid my money and applied for the mentoring. I should know if I’ve been accepted onto the programme (it’s very heavily oversubscribed) in a couple of days but I’ve already made a start on a project. I’ll be posting more specifics (web stats and actions, e.g.) on my other blog so as not to bore those Life Moves subscribers who aren’t interested in such things!