Getting this blog going is such an exciting and impossible task. I have wanted to start a blog based on my experience as a social worker for a long time and now its here! And now that its here, I can hardly pick where to start. Does this ever happen to you? You get excited to do a project and then all you do is stare at it trying to figure out where to begin. That is the exact boat I am in. I want this work I am doing to be honest, helpful, and accurate. To do that, I want to be able to share the knowledge I have, while also conveying that I am human and not perfect either.

I have been trained that self-disclosure is rarely used and if used, it’s best to take your name off of it so as not to make the session about you. So here I am, stuck in my own head thinking if I am starting a blog, then clearly I just want to make things about me. Then, I come back down to reality and realize that some of the greats that I look up to are successful because they share their whole self. I love how Brene Brown brings her research to life from her experiences, triumphs, and failures. I am also a huge fan girl of Rachel Hollis, and she’s successful because she uses her real life to teach people how to be successful. So that’s what I am going to do. I will use my real life and all the clinical crap I have in my brain to help teach the things I know.

Doing something new boils down to having courage. Whenever you start to do something different, your brain will try to protect you and tell you why you shouldn’t do it. Don’t get me wrong there are definitely things you shouldn’t do. Let’s be smart here. But, there are also things out there that you should do even though it scares you. I think about my toddler; this girl climbs everything. And, as I stand there next to her on the big kid part of the playground she says “I’m scared.” The protective mama bear in me wants her to come down so she doesn’t crack her skull. But, therapist me says, “its ok to be scared and just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you should quit.”

And, that’s exactly what I need to tell myself. Just because I am scared and worried and intimidated doesn’t mean I should give up. Hello! I just compared myself to two powerhouse women, if that wouldn’t freak you out, check your pulse. When I’m scared all it means is there are things that I need to figure it out. Oftentimes when we have fear or nervousness going on in our brains, it’s our brains wanting to protect us from getting hurt. We all know that getting hurt sucks and is uncomfortable. That discomfort can arise as physical or emotional pain. But, without that hurt, it’s unlikely that we make progress.

Whether the thing that scares you is, starting a new job, going to the gym, making new friends, working on your marriage, having a tough talk with your teenager, or tackling your finances, you have to start somewhere. So this is me, starting. This is my first blog post. To honestly tell you, I am scared to death of how I am going to make this writing career work. After all, my Freshman year in college, I got a D on my first paper because my writing was atrocious. So how is this girl who could barely write going to teach people through her writing? I will tell you, I have my cheerleaders who encourage me and proof my work. I have my little group of friends who know what I am aiming for and are giving me honest feedback and helping me get out of my own way.

My advice to you is to cultivate your support. I said this repeatedly when I worked in substance abuse treatment. I’d share that if you want to be sober and actively in recovery, you must have a solid support system. And that advice goes for all humans. Support looks different and is not one size fits all. For me, I have my husband, a coach, my pastor, and a group of girlfriends I can be honest with. I also have my doctor who makes sure my mental illness is in check. I also have the lovely Audible app because as a parent I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to read a paper book. Reading, or listening in my case, is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Not only is it great for our brains, its also such a great way to develop as a human. Another favorite tool of mine is my solid collection of playlists; because what better therapy is there than music?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think about, what scares you. What’s a thing that maybe you failed at before and haven’t tried again because it’s too frustrating? Or maybe the thing that has been rolling around in your brain but you haven’t tried because it seems way too ambitious. Once you have the thing, decide what needs to happen for you to accomplish it. You don’t need a laundry list. Pick three things you can do and once those three things are done, pick another three, and so on and so forth until you reach your goal. Then, find your people. Find people you can talk to who will encourage you and will handle you with kindness gloves as you work to accomplish this thing. I say kindness gloves because honesty without kindness is cruelty. You want people in your life who genuinely want to see you succeed. I will expand more on this in another post.

And then, anytime your thing makes you angry, scared, hurt, or all of the above, find your people and get feedback and support. It’s true that having someone in your corner to validate your thoughts goes a long way. I ask all the time “Am I inept or is this just hard?” Most of the time, it’s just that what I am doing is hard. Sometimes I am inept and its complete operator error. But, with this whole writing thing, I have come to learn that it’s really hard. And, to be successful you have to keep moving forward despite any doubts you have. All the greats pushed through failure, fear, doubt, and worry. If all it takes is not quitting you can do anything, especially when it is important enough.

If I can do scary things, such as believing I can be successful like Brene and Rachel, then so can you. Whatever your thing is that scares you, go for it. Feel the fear, the worry, and the doubt. Then, do it anyways and never stop pursuing it.

Cheering for you,

Lissa

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