What Chapter Am I On?
As I was being rather self critical, again, I stopped to think carefully about what I was actually doing.
I am the sort of person who want to do everything to the best I can, and I usually compare myself to the best, as that is where I aspire to be. This can be very detrimental though, as often I feel that I am not good enough.
I used to compete quite a lot in various sports, and was good, but I used to look at Olympic athletes and think " I am not there yet". I bake a great deal, but am not good ( this is true) at the decorating part, so consequently my cakes are not good enough! The number of people who ask for them and want to eat them would suggest this is not the case, but hey ho! You get the picture. So I spent a good deal of time being overly critical rather than recognising the progress that I make in different areas, and the skills that I genuinely do have. It feels rather odd to be self congratulating, so I don't.
This though is a serious omission. We must recognise our own strengths and progress or we may just give in. Setting up a business, as I have, is slow, often painful, and there are lots of false avenues and issues to deal with, that I simply had not thought of owing to a lack of expertise in some areas. The temptation is to just give up, however, that would be to miss the success. I now have a business, I am on chapter 1; it is exciting; lots to learn; lots of mistakes still to make. Stop looking at businesses who are in chapter 4 or 5 or even 10. I will be on those chapters one day, just not yet. I have met loads of new, lovely, interesting and generous people; I have learnt a great many new skills; I have discovered that it is OK to get help and seek advice. It is also OK to lean on people a little. In my time, plenty have leant on me and I have enjoyed the fact I can help, so why not?
SO, now, when I find myself going down the old critical track, I stop and think; whoah! What have I done that is good today? What has helped me move forwards? What is no longer a problem or as urgent as it was? And do you know what - there are loads of answers, all positive, I just had to think a little and be grateful to myself for being me.
If you find yourself being overly critical, just put the brakes on and think of answers to those questions. There will be lots to be proud of, so indulge yourself for a while and enjoy the warmth of being kind to yourself. Recognise the chapter you are on, and that life is a journey. You will reach subsequent chapters if you allow yourself to.
If you would like to share your experiences, comment or discuss, please contact me.