Welcome to the 22nd issue of Inward Ventures, my weekly share of what I’m working on and fiddling around with. I share thoughts and ideas I come across in my continuing quest for self-improvement, productivity, and education for myself and my coaching clients. I strive to excel in my writing, creativity, and, well… LIFE. Thanks for being here. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.
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Remember how I told you last month about shifting my mindset by changing “need to” - - - > “get to.” Missed that? Here ya go.
TL;DR: I reframed my perspective and looked at a challenging situation as an opportunity rather than a chore. Chore - - - > Challenge.
That’s all well and good when I get started on a project. Motivation is high, and I park my butt down with loads of ideas for writing. The words flow, the coffee is hot, and my meme game is on point. 🔥
Until it isn’t.
This week has been terrible for writing. Let me be frank; it’s been this MONTH. I’ve had ZERO motivation to write my book.
I flipped through the rough draft piling up and briefly flirted with resorting to my old habit of destroying my work. Don’t worry, NOT gonna happen. 💀
Part of my plan in announcing the book was the accountability involved. It might seem like I was bragging: hey lookit me, I’m writin’ a book! This is laughable because *shhhh, don’t tell anyone* ~ I am not confident in my ability to write well at all!
It’s a move to capitalize on the idea that since I told so many doggone people about it, I have to come through on the promise! #forcingfunction
So how do I not cave to the lure of this comfortable and destructive habit? When I look at it, I’ve already given in to half of it: I’ve stopped the creative process. Thankfully, I haven’t done the deed of destroying. The question then becomes, how do I stop this backslide and get back to doing the (external) work?!
Looking at this situation (me feeling bad about not writing), I need to be clear: I AM writing extensively these days, but it’s 100% NOT on my manuscript.
I’m producing and creating, yes, but in an autobiographical and therapeutic journaling manner—note to self, #future newsletter.
Ok, fine, it counts as writing. I’m flexing those creative writing muscles every day but not where it counts. This is like me saying; I want to run a marathon! And then go to the gym daily to work on my abs and sweat through endless spin classes. Sure, I’m working out but not training to run a marathon. #specificity
The effort is there; the direction is not—time to correct course.
Remembering my Why?
My why. Meaning:
Why am I writing this?
What do I hope to get out of this?
Who am I writing this for?
What do I hope SHE gets out of this?
Part of me wants to be self-confident, proclaiming I’m writing this for me, to prove that I can do it. I want to come through on my promise to myself. This book is just for me.
I think that’s the ideal situation, where I/we do things for ourselves, with no restraining thoughts and fears of what others may think. We run marathons or write stories or compete in various sports simply for our own fulfillment. We quit smoking, stop drinking, end whatever bad habit/behavior because it’s the right thing to do for ourselves.
Or at least, that’s the story.
I *should* have enough drive and motivation to do this for myself.
Should-ing on myself
That hasn’t been enough for me. And maybe for some of you, it’s the same.
You weren’t able to quit smoking until your child called you out on it. Drinking was on again - off again until your spouse declared, I can’t deal with this anymore.
Whatever it was, an external force shook you hard enough to stop the behavior.
I’ve come to realize this week that my greatest motivation, while it still comes from within me, it’s not focused on me. Its outcome is on my daughter.
I’ve been thinking, I should do this for myself. I shouldn’t care what other people think. I should be fearless and let it all pour out. I should be writing more.
Should, shouldn’t. Should, shouldn’t.
I keep should-ing on myself.
When needed, outsource that shit.
Is it so bad that I’m outsourcing my motivation? Maybe some self-help guru would admonish me; You must find the internal drive within and do eeet for yourself!
Ok, Buster, but that ain’t workin’ for me right now.
I think, at least for now, I’m ok with handing over my motivation to Nina. Meaning she is the answer to those questions above.
Yes, I am outsourcing my motivation to her temporarily. I can’t find it from within (I should be writing this book to uphold a promise to myself), so I’m turning it over to her. The best part is she doesn’t even know it. 😂
She’s busy at NNPTC, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, engaged in 50+ hrs/week of in-class instruction and mandatory studying. She IS subscribed to the newsletter but she is one of those 17,839 unread emails people so I know she will never open her inbox and see this LOL. If you want to write to her, let me know! She loves getting mail 💯Me? I would have chest pain just from SEEING the notification icon on my phone with that alarming number 😱 but that’s another newsletter, haha. #chestpain #notificationsOFFforareason
Ah yes, Nina becomes the answer to “WHY am I doing this?”
Why am I writing this book to explain how to use self-compassion and psychology/neuroscience to address self-sabotaging behaviors.
What do I hope to get out of this effort? To have a funny, easy to read and implement guide, both explanations, and strategies.
Who am I writing this book for? My daughter, who has already utilized most of these tools, but like we all do, sometimes forgets what she has in her toolbox!
What do I hope SHE gets out of this? I hope she smiles at my stories, has several ah-ha moments, many head-nods of agreement and recognition, and pride in her mumma.
So far, it’s working for me. I pulled the manuscript out last night and spent two hours on it. Again this morning, I pulled it out, re-ordered some chapters, and started Chapter Four.
What’s going on in your life where you seem to be spinning your wheels? Can you take my questions above and apply them to what you’re going through?
I know it’s noble to:
do things for ourselves
say we don’t care about the results
not care about impressing others
Thinking that was is also sometimes:
Like borrowing your belief from someone, why not try handing over your inspiration to someone else? *ahem
You know you can borrow my belief in you. Take it a step further, and DO.IT so you can send me an email proclaiming:
I finally opened my Etsy Store!
I contacted a publisher about my book!
I joined that mastermind!
I signed up for that race/event/course/class!
I joined Toastmasters!
I found a therapist and made an appointment!
I joined a gym!
You can ALWAYS reach out to me.
I’m here, cheerin’ ya on 🙋🏼♀️
Whatcha got for me? Please hit reply or comment below; I’ll gladly respond in more detail. As always, I promise I will do whatever I can to be there for you and to support you. HIT.ME.UP. I mean it! 🙌
Need an accountability partner? Writing (or working out or WHATEVER?) lemme know 😍 I trade daily word counts; it’s quick, fun, and motivating, I promise!