Today's post is very much off topic, not just because it has virtually nothing to do with Interior Design per se, but also because it's about personal stuff, the emotional stuff that goes on in our minds - our internal battles and belief systems and the things that hold us back from not taking up opportunities, achieving our goals or leading a fulfilled and happy life.
The lovely Theresa from inspirationcooperative invited me and a bunch of other fabulous blogger friends along to her Virtual Cocktail Party, it's taking place today on each of our blogs and we are all being really brave and talking about subjects none of us have delved into before or perhaps know about each other, so here's my contribution - fear.
I suffer from all of the above phobias to varying degrees, and trust me, it wasn't pleasant finding an image of a spider to post here, it made me cringe and my hair stand on end. I've had arachnophobia since primary school and came about because a boy in my class put a spider in a matchbox and ran around the playground opening it up in girls faces and scaring them with it. The situation is so vivid, it could have happened only yesterday. There's just one person he did not pursue; me, because I walked around playing it cool and pretending I loved them. I simply did not give him reason to chase me with the matchbox spider so I got away scott free, I was never a lover of spiders but the experience cemented my phobia good and proper.
So these are my open and public fears, but what about my internal anxieties that are just as common and probably resonate with all of us? If you were here earlier in the week, you'll know I briefly touched on this subject.
Fear and avoidance
I've created some lousy diversionary tactics whilst in front of my computer, and I've programmed myself to use them eloquently when the going gets tough. If I hit on a big problem or on something I don't particularly like doing, I'll do any one of the following - click onto my inbox and check for new emails, launch firefox and browse some retailers or amuse myself with the latest celebrity news, put some washing in the machine, raid the fridge, pick my nails... whatever. Wasting 20 minutes on anything but the task in hand. It's ridiculous as the problem doesn't vanish until I've dealt with it, so why not try and resolve it as soon as it appears? It's a behaviour I work on fixing all the time. In addition, I'm not particularly good at asking for help either, I'll admit that I have been known to avoid asking others with experience, for fear of it being a sign of weakness or I'm just plain embarrassed to ask. It's like being a child again, in class at school and not putting my hand up even when I know the answer to the teacher's question, because people might berate me and think I'm an idiot. It's crazy.
Fear of vulnerability
Here's an example: I have been leaving my 30 Day Challenge play project till later in the afternoon, finding other tasks to occupy me first. I think that's because if keep putting it off, I will take longer to accomplish what I set out to do, which delays the day when I do complete it and become accountable for my actions. And when D-Day comes, I know it will be complete as I hate unfinished business, but I shall feel vulnerable. What on earth do I do with the project to take it to the next stage or if it's complete, what will the next project be, as I can't be doing 'nothing'. Will the output of my project be of any value? Is is good enough? Will anyone like it? Will it all have been a waste of my time? All these thoughts and excuses swimming around and around in my mind are so uncomfortable, prohibitive, I feel serve no real purpose and just get in the way of 'flow'. And let me remind you that playing on my project is supposed to be fun!
Here's a fascinating talk by Brene Brown about vulnerability and connection, generously shared with us by 30 Day Challenge founders John and Selina. Brene's book is on my wishlist, although she does have another out later this year and it's probably worth looking out for - The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to be and Embrace Who You are
I'm gonna take a breather from all this 'deep stuff' and close off by saying thanks to Theresa for starting the Cocktail Party and the post topic, for getting us all together and talking frankly. I cannot wait to read everyone else's posts. It was a toughie but hey ho, it's done and I've survived! If you are interested in how this idea started you can read about it here.
Have a hippy, happy weekend folks x