Letters to Life

Letters to Life (4)

life4

“You are an instrument of peace and will sow love where hatred reigns”
– Random Paper Wisdom –

Dear Life,

It’s me again and I need your help. Every time I think I have found my way, I get lost so quickly I end up feeling alone and confused. Please show me what to do, where to go.

Yesterday my course to become a life coach started off and I woke up with a terrible pit in my stomach. Not because I was about to start something I’ve been looking forward to for a while, but because it was one of “those days” again, on which I feel small and little and terribly insecure for no good reason. A feeling that was magnified by me starting something new, meeting new people in a new environment. If my anxieties were high already, these extras made them break through the roof!

Just when I think I’ve got myself under control, I lose the reins of my focus and with that lose myself. I spent half a morning being upset because my memory wasn’t working properly and I failed to come up with some pretty big aspects of someone’s life (instead of introducing ourselves, we had to interview the person next to us and then introduce them). Quickly after, my ego was hit by a huge blow after I messed up a trial coaching session by completely blanking out.

I thought I had grown from a feeble mess into a strong woman, but that woman was nowhere near to be found yesterday. I had honestly (maybe naively) thought that I was there already, safe and sound, knowing my self-worth. But theory and practice are two different things. Or maybe we just need days like these to understand we have not arrived at the finish line just yet.

One thing I have come to learn about myself is that my perfectionism does not only allow for my fear of failure to take over when I am in distress, it also ensures me that whatever mistake I make, whatever feedback I’m given, I go into adjustment mode immediately.

And even though a part of me is terrified my insecure behaviour set the mode for the rest of this course, I am adamant to show I am more than that little girl who sometimes pops up and takes over. She’s had her fun, now it’s time for the new me to come out and show what I can do! The me I’ve been working on for so long, the me who deserves to be in charge.

I hope this set-back was a one-time happening and that I’ll remember my strength next time I step into the classroom. As I was just starting to like the person I was becoming, I’d hate for it all to disappear because my old anxieties take over. I thought that battle was done.

I hereby decide that that battle is done! And if next time I feel insecure again, I’ll just remember I am an instrument of peace and love reigns over hatred. And fears.

X,
Samantha


When was the last time you felt lost? How did you cope?
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19 thoughts on “Letters to Life (4)

  1. Hard to know what to say. You are so smart and deserving. It’s obvious to others. Pick the battle you can win. If you can’t beat “insecurity,” then go head-on against “perfectionism.” If you defeat perfectionism, you will have killed off the insecurity by the way. I’ve seen it in others — perfectionism is so strong that it makes them unable to start any project with gusto, for fear that they will fall short of perfection — the insecurity is the byproduct of the perfectionism. So I say go after the perfectionism first. Now go out and do something imperfect and then go celebrate it!

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    1. I always saw perfectionism as my friend, because it means that whatever I do, I give it my best shot. But maybe you are right and it needs to be toned down a bit in some aspects of my life. I mean, I am fine with being a perfectionist at work, but maybe not so much in my personal life. It does enhance insecurities when you constantly tell yourself it’s not okay to make mistakes and you feel it just the more when there’s people around you to watch you fall. Especially when they’re strangers.

      Thank you for your wise words. In fact, I usually make a daily to-do list but I didn’t for today. I’m just taking it as it comes and I am NOT going to think about my homework (I’ve got loads of time to do that but my perfectionist mind wants me to do it all NOW). Thank you, Gary! :)

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  2. “maybe we just need days like these to understand we have not arrived at the finish line just yet.” That is a good perspective. I frequently talk in public, and I still haven’t gotten over feeling nervous; I manage to channel that nervous energy into my presentation, and I get a lot of compliments for my speaking ability. You can probably do the same–embrace your anxiety and find a way to harness it so you can use it as a coach (or as a coach-in-training). J.

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    1. It was just… one of those days on which even a compass wouldn’t have been able to help me find my focus again. The only thing I can do now is just do the coursework and take it all as it comes. I have 19 more class-days ahead of me, both for theory and practice, and I am sure the next one will be better :) Thanks, J, for reminding me that our “bad traits” may not be so bad after all.

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  3. We have this not-so-famous poet/author guy, by now almost completely forgotten, by name of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — didn’t write any books or poems anyone still remembers anymore, but he had that bright one legendary moment when he said:
    “Even the stones that have been placed in one’s path can be made into something beautiful!” that inspired a few of the greatest gerbils in history … Uh, uh, is that a laugh coming our way :D :D :D

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    1. I loved Goethe. People didn’t understand me in high school (they still don’t), but oh well. My gerbils, by the way, do move all their stuff around on a daily (make that 10 minute) basis, so you’re right: even things that scare us or hold us back can be turned into something beautiful and useful.

      Oh, and I did laugh, lol!

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      1. Um, that was a joke actually. As in “satire alert” — being from Germany myself old John-Boy is practically in every breath I take — so ;-)

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  4. Hello, Samantha!

    I absolutely love this post! You were so honest with your feelings. I completely understand where you are. I have a PhD in Nursing, but I don’t feel compelled to teach full-time right now. My heart is in YA fiction. I’ve written 2 YA books and just started my third. I have had several reputable NY agents ask for my stuff just to give me feedback and reject it. I do have an agent now, but sometimes I question myself. Am I really going down the right path? Will my books make a difference to many YA’s? Should I be doing research and working at a university? Am I wasting my degrees??? Am I a good enough writer? Who am I to write? Ahhh!!! Everyday, I have to push those feelings aside and take one step closer to my dreams. I just have to or I’ll drive myself mad. It sounds like you picked yourself up and you’re moving forward. Keep at it!!! ❤️​

    Ipuna

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    1. Ipuna, I think that is the only way to handle these feelings: admit they are there and keep moving on. We cannot be experts from day 1; we need to learn and that comes with falling. If your heart lies with writing YA books, then that is what you must try. You owe it to yourself, as much as I owe it to myself to let go of always wanting to be perfect and simply, as my trainet kept saying “trust the process”.

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      1. Samantha, I’m a perfectionist too. Grrrr. Trust the process is right. It’s just slow for our perfectionist attitudes. Ha ha. Thank you. I’ll let that marinate with me today. “Trust the process.” Thank you. I’m cheering for you too! It’s not easy trying something new even if it is were your passion resides.

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  5. ”She’s had her fun, now it’s time for the new me to come out and show what I can do! The me I’ve been working on for so long, the me who deserves to be in charge.” I love how you write. Your words are so beautiful and it always makes me think about positive things. You are doing a great job Samantha!!! That was a a one-time-insecurity-day at your course but it won’t happen again!!! I know for sure. You are a really strong person and even if you sometimes feel a little insecure, you have to know that you are walking a positive path. You are on your way to get higher and higher!!! I hope the next time you are at your course, it will be a wonderful day to you :) I like to read about it next time x

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  6. I have always felt perfection is what one strives for but also has to keep in mind cannot be achieved. It goes back to my time working in manufacturing where one of the operational understandings is no two things are ever made exactly alike. There is an inherent difference in each item manufactured no matter how microscopic it is. That kind of outlook helps issue a check-and-balance to perfectionism I think. We should strive to have a zero-defect personality as long as we truly understand that can’t happen. Mistakes, errors, slight variances no matter how minute all occur in manufacturing…and especially in life. We’ve all been there on the “blanking out” part. I gave a presentation once and knew as soon as it was done I could have done better even after all my preparation. I just vowed to execute the next one better and looked forward to the chance. I’m also looking for the right direction myself. Which way to go. Which fork in the road to take. Don’t want to take the wrong one. Decisions, decisions!

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    1. What if every decision we make is the right one? In the end it sure enables us to learn. And did you just say I am normal? ;) Just kidding, but your words are very true. Thank you, Bruce.

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  7. I’m sorry to hear you had a bit of a hard time, but it was the very first day of a whole new course! I don’t think it was surprising that there were a few parts that went less than smoothly. Everybody gets a little anxious when they start something completely new. I’ll bet you’ll get into the swing of things in no time.

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