Finding that middle ground

One of my goals is to write more and build my blog, firstly because I’ve always enjoyed writing, and also because I want to share thoughts on mental health, self-care and motherhood. I’m also finding that sharing our stories is such a powerful tool to help us heal ourselves, but also to allow others to share their story too.

It’s proving tricky for me to find the time to do this. Whether it’s because in my own head I create a block almost, a mountain that I have to climb, my thought process goes a bit like this:

I want to write a blog post

Ok, I need to find the time to sit down to do that.

When am I going to find the time with my part time job, my kids, life and sleep deprivation?

I need to get organised, that’s it! If I sit down, plan it all out and be strict with myself then I will do it.

Then, inevitably, life gets in the way and nothing gets done.

I’m sharing this because I wonder if we subconsciously create these blocks for ourselves. Telling myself that before I even start being creative, I need to get organised. Not even allowing myself the luxury of writing and seeing what happens. Could it be that instead of being afraid of failure, that we are afraid of success? About how good we can be? And then we subconsciously sabotage that?

I definitely have a tendency to fall into black and white thinking, it’s all or nothing – either I’m doing what I’m doing 100% or I’m not doing it at all. This is a dangerous place to be, as we set ourselves up for a fall, those high expectations are so unrealistic and they leave us no room for error. Beating ourselves up and punishing ourselves seems like the norm.

What if there was a space in the middle where we could be? A place where we allowed ourselves to make mistakes, to sometimes do lots and sometimes not do much, where we forgave ourselves. Where our expectations became flexible and were rooted in self-compassion. Imagine that!

I’ve been trying to teach my daughter this too. Last week, she was practising her writing and putting crosses and ticks next to the ones she was doing right or wrong. She’s only 4 and she seemed most of her efforts as crosses – I said you don’t need to do the ticks and crosses, just trying is good enough and we learn best from our mistakes. She didn’t seem convinced and carried on with her self-imposed marking.

Now I could just be reading too much into this and she was pretending to be a teacher, but there’s 2 interesting things here – 1. How I was able to let my daughter know that trying and learning from mistakes is more valuable than getting things right – but that I struggle to do this myself and 2. Maybe it’s an inbuilt characteristic in us that we see things as black or white, or that she’s inherited this way of thinking from me.

If you, like me, struggle to get past that first hurdle when you are diving into something new, realise that it’s normal to feel that way. Try to lend yourselves the same self-compassion that you would your child – trying and learning from our mistakes is the most important thing.

And do you know what? We are allowed to live in that middle ground, a place where we allow ourselves to try things out, to fail, to learn and to grow. That is the space I want to be in, don’t you?

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