The good stuff is yet to come – this time, ED, you are the loser
Time flies when you’re busy working on a mysterious new project while simultaneously trying to entertain two children during the school holidays. With children at home constantly, I tried to make up for the lost time by working late at night, resulting in long, tiring days. The good news, by the time this blog goes live, is that the new school year will have started. This will allow a little normality to return, a routine restoration for all of us, and perhaps some more sleep. I’m especially looking forward to more time working on The Picture Healer endeavors that I’ve been meticulously planning and working on.
Working on my latest project has been a testing time; I have had to face some old demons that appear not to want to leave me. The past few weeks, in particular, have been a rollercoaster ride of emotional chaos. I’ve wanted to get off this unpredictable ride for a long time, but it is not that easy. The rollercoaster I refer to is not like those you find in amusement parks or carnivals; my rollercoaster is more a representation of how my life is tracking. For example, we all experience setbacks. They’re a given part of life regardless of a person’s frame of mind or life circumstances. Another way of looking at a setback is to reframe them. So, instead of calling it a setback, we can refer to it as a challenge. A challenge to achieve something, meet a deadline or perhaps to do something we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite made it happen. Now I don’t know about you, but for myself, a good challenge is a motivating thing to have linger within my mind. We can look through the lens of doom and call a circumstance a setback, or we can embrace it as a challenge and work our butt off to overcome it.
Last time,https://thepicturehealer.com/happy-new-year-the-beginning-of-something-new/ I described a brilliant idea that came to me on New Year’s Eve (NYE). I have run so swiftly with this idea that I sometimes need to pinch myself to check I’m really doing it! It’s a big deal, it will be a significant accomplishment, something to be proud of. Yet, while working on this new endeavor, setbacks have halted my progress several times. I’m not going sugarcoat this, I’m always honest here on the Picture Healer so here goes. I don’t react well to setbacks; I find them difficult to swallow and overcome, especially when I feel I’ve been productive and on a roll.
Even the smallest of setbacks is a horrifying experience in my world, yet when I take the time to consider why I feel this way the reason is quite simple. I associate a setback with total soul-shattering failure (no overstatement here!). Yes, it’s that dramatic in my world, it always has been this way, and frankly, this rigid frame of mind is hard to breakthrough. Even a small setback would have resulted in me quitting my involvement in such a project in the past. “It’s too hard now; it’s not going to work, so I may as well give up!” My negative mind would be screaming thoughts like this. However, my mindset today is a mixture of a fledgling healthy mind trying to push through and break free of years intertwined with negative Eating Disorder thoughts and feelings. It’s a struggle between positive and negative voices. They don’t work well together, making a small situation seem much bigger than it actually is. Unfortunately, I feel this mindset is so deeply engrained, it may be difficult to change.
As I’ve been working through the many elements involved in my special project, I’ve had to step outside my comfort zone to work closely with various other people—professionals in their areas of expertise. Sharing my work with these people for feedback puts me in a vulnerable position, and perhaps my expectations are way too high. Yet, ultimately, my Healthy Self knows these people are on my team, they are here giving me feedback for a reason; to help me through a process that is new to me. And besides, I know they don’t want me to fail. As my friend June kindly emphasises to me, “I’m the new kid on the block”, and the feedback I receive from these experienced people is not intended to crush me or push me back into a box. Instead, they offer feedback to help me create a quality and professional-grade product that will capture people’s interest. The people who are helping me are my resources, not saboteurs.
I’ve taken a while to absorb this advice; I’m still absorbing! Maybe I look at the world through too much of a black and white lens. It isn’t easy when sentiments from school days continue to penetrate my mind as an adult. I thought I had to be tough to survive and thrive and that’s a lot of pressure to put on anyone, let alone a child on the brink of adulthood.
Today as I continue to struggle with absorbing feedback, my negative or ED self tends to interpret and frame constructive criticism that includes suggestions or areas that need improvement as being THE END, game over, and Project X becomes at risk of being shut down forever. I have a longstanding tendency to interpret one person’s perspective as being the holy grail, failing to consider that this someone else’s view may be equally valid as mine, and may be very helpful. My negative mindset automatically focuses and inflates the critiques into something sinister.
Credit to June who has talked me through some sticky situations, warding off the negative voice, and encouraging me to persist. I am trying to ignore that annoying critical voice in my mind. The voice that is insistent on telling me that this venture is a waste of time and money and besides, who am I to think I could do anything like this, something I’d never imagined in my wildest dreams. Well actually, I can do it and I will do it.
I am moving forward. I refuse to give up. I’ve reframed what I interpreted to be a complete rejection and off-putting into something of a challenge for myself. I do love a good challenge, and as one particular doctor of mine knows, I am a woman of my word. So, as I move forward, to wherever I am heading, I’ll keep the following quote firmly tucked into my mind.
“Failures and setbacks and struggles are all where the good stuff happens.”
My friends, the good stuff is yet to come. I refuse to be knocked down by something minute that my ED mind attempts to use against me in defeat. This time, ED, you will be the loser.