BEING KIND TO OURSELVES - Issue #29
Because we can often be our own worst enemy
Hello there, gorgeous readers.
I hope you are well and life is being kind to you.
It’s very humbling to see the readership growing bit by bit each issue, and I’m very grateful to all those who continue to subscribe and read each issue. And if you’re here for the first time, thank you for signing up - it means a lot. I hope my mindless ramblings resonate with you.
In this issue, I thought I’d write about an old chestnut but one that, if you’re anything like me, needs hammering home somewhat.
BEING GOOD ENOUGH…
I’m writing this in taking a break from a major project for a client. As a freelancer, it’s not often I get commissioned with projects of a size like this one, and I’m under a tight deadline. I’ve been commissioned to write a series of 4 articles for a financial company. These articles are very distinct and filled with lots of legal processes, which I’ve had to learn along the way, even though I have worked with finance companies in the past. So, I’m just about to submit the first article and I’ve spent far too many hours on changing the final draft because I’ve been thinking it isn’t “good enough”.
I have to admit I’m scared in sending it over to the client in case they see what I’ve written as rubbish and filled with loads of inaccuracies (it shouldn’t be as I had a very in-depth briefing from the client beforehand). But, the inner critic in me is stopping me from sending it, when I know there’s no more I can do to it.
So, you can say this is one time I need to be kinder to myself and realise that, as a writer with strong experience in the financial and business sector, there won’t be much wrong with it. And if they do start butchering it to pieces, that might indicate a problem with them themselves.
What I’m talking about is being “good enough”. I’m pretty sure what I’ve written is “good enough” for them to publish the article on their website (I’m ghost-writing the articles). Good enough means just that - not perfect (but accurate , in this case) - but done well enough that it gets the message across and speaks empathically to company directors in financial distress. Which is the whole reason for them to publish it.
So, right now, I’m trying to tell myself that what I’ve done is good enough and if they do start butchering about the copy that I’ve written (which I’m fully expecting them to do), then maybe the problem is with them - finding fault with something, just for the sake of it. A bit of power play?
What do you do to stop yourself from not being “good enough”?
THINGS I’VE TRIED TO BE “GOOD ENOUGH”
Over the years I’ve realised I’m dogged by the thoughts of what I produce not being good enough and have sought to try and change the default way of thinking. Not easy, because being of mature years, these negative ways of thinking have been really reinforced and have become automatic. It takes a lot of time and effort to try and introduce new ones and let them become the default, rather than the old, destructive one.
So what did I do to try and make changes?
I journalled a lot and daily logged the good things I did each day. It was hard at first, but I looked for the slightest thing - even the tiniest thing such as sitting at my desk each day - and tried to build up from there. Over the months it did build, and I began to notice much bigger things I was doing well. I also made a point of re-reading my journalling entries to help reinforce the good I was doing and help my brain make the changes.
In moments during the day, I tried to tune into the automatic “self talk” that was going on in my head. We don’t often hear this - it goes on in the background - but it’s powerful in that the brain listens to it and it forms our mood. The journalling helped, because after a time, I began to notice both good and bad stuff I was doing and my brain slowed down enough so that I could look at things with a more balanced view, rather than just automatically running through with the usual negative idea that all I did was bad.
Similarly, I trained myself to accept and not to explain away any compliment I received. It’s very easy when someone compliments you to say something negative about it. For example, on receiving a compliment about something I was wearing, I would always say something like “Oh, it was only cheap” etc. So, I made a concerted effort to stop that, and just smile and accept what they were saying, as much as I wanted to contradict them. And, like the suggestions I made above, after a number of weeks and months, it became easier and eventually automatic. And I felt much happier too.
So, this is just a few, basic ideas that I picked up - some from reading some good stuff online - I particularly like Mind Body Green and just as uplifting but a tad more spiritual Tiny Buddha. My path also crossed with a couple of therapists and I listened to a few of their talks about gaining confidence, and it was them who suggested the journalling and reviewing. Which, for those of you who have experience in this area, will know that this is a pure Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tool, which happens to work quite well.
If you’re struggling with these types of issues and it’s impacting quite strongly on your day to day life, then may I suggest seeking out some help. Your first point could be your GP, but if you have the means and want the issues resolved more quickly, then consider looking for private sessions with a therapist. BACP is the professional body regulating therapists and counsellors, and they publish lists of practitioners.
I hope what I’ve outlined above helps and helps you to progress past this god-awful thought pattern that can be so destructive. And, even though it can be hard at times, doing something to help yourself will help you on so many levels.
As regular readers will know, I publish this newsletter each fortnight free of charge. It’s a total labour of love, and one of the upsides in doing it is extending the number of awesome women who subscribe and reach the issue each fortnight.
But, I have changed the model I had for it originally.
I’ll still be issuing a fortnightly issue for free, but this will be shorter and more concise. And, if this is your preference, you don’t need to do anything at all. But I’ll also be offering a paid subscription that will be issued in between the two fortnightly issues, whereby members who sign up for the paid version ($7 dollars - equivalent to around £5.50 each month) receive an extra issue that is more in-depth gleaning the best of the news from the net that is of importance to women of our age. Basically what we need to know now.
Producing the newsletter for over a year now has provided me with skills and knowledge to glean the stories that matter along with my own musings on life for women of our age.
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I wish you luck with it all.
So that’s it from me for a fortnight’s time. I wish you healing and peace.