‘You’re Better Than You Think’ and Other Mantras

If I can be honest, the last few weeks have felt very heavy recently. My mind and my heart are caught in a constant tug-of-war over where I want to be and where I am now.

Perhaps you often feel this way. You have a vision for what you want your life to look like. You have the dream, the calling, the book or business on your heart. But you just have no clue how you’re going to get there.

The heaviness sinks in and you start to hear the same thoughts on repeat:

‘I’m not good enough.’

‘I’m never going to get to where I want to go.’

‘Other people are better are doing better than me.’

‘I freaking suck.’

You know this cesspool of negativity isn’t going to help you get anywhere, but sometimes you just want to wallow.

As an Enneagram 4, wallowing in my feelings is my favourite past time. All I’ve felt like doing is feel everything, stay in bed, and binge watch everything on Disney+.

But yesterday, my mentor and work wife took me out for the day and gave me the pep talk to end all pep talks. It helped spark a glimmer of hope that was lying dormant under all the heaviness. It forced me to confront some lies I’d been believing and start the process of re-writing the stories I often tell myself.

There’s a time to feel the feelings, and there’s a time to buck up and get moving. It’s not my place to tell you when it’s the right time to do either of them. If you’re anything like me, you’d probably hate anyone who tells you to ‘cheer up’ when you’re still marinating in your feelings.

But when you feel ready to stop listening to your feelings and start taking action instead, this pep talk will always be here to help get you back on your feet.

I think we should always pass on the wisdom that’s been bestowed onto us. So here are some of the words I want to pass onto you, sweet reader.

001. You’re better than you think

Chances are, you don’t suck. There’s probably someone who’s looking at you from afar and wishing they’ve accomplished half the things you have. You may not be the best, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the skills, gifts, and talents you have to contribute to the world. Give yourself credit for the things you’ve done and remember that there’s always someone who’s ready to receive what you have to offer.

002. Own the person you want to become

If you want to be a writer, own it. If you want to be known for empowering other women to love their bodies, own the heck out of that. It’s easy to get discouraged when other people raise their eyebrows skeptically when you tell them what you want to do. I feel like bursting into tears anytime someone questions what I’m going to do now that I’m so close to finishing my law degree. But honestly, it shouldn’t matter what other people think about you or your craft.

“If you believe you can make it happen, it will. If you’re plagued with self-doubt and keep telling yourself you suck…then I’m sorry but it probably won’t happen,” said my mentor.

003. You’re doing ok

Even though you’re not where you want to be, you’re ok.

Even though it feels like everyone else is running laps around you, you’re ok.

There’s nothing wrong with you that’s stopping you from reaching your goals. You’re not missing vital pieces. Other people weren’t giving a page of a guidebook that you feel like you’ve lost.

You’re on your own path and kicking your own goals that were uniquely created for you. Other people may be called to lead and inspire and encourage over there. But you’re meant to lead, serve, and inspire just where you are. It doesn’t feel like a gift in this very moment. But I can promise you, it is.

Keep going, sweet reader. I see you, I believe in you, and I’m always fiercely cheering on for you.

The Comeback

It’s been more than a hot minute since I’ve showed up in your inbox or on your screen.

When I first started publishing my words, I made a huge promise that I wasn’t going to flake out and ghost this corner of the internet. But life has a way of interrupting and tossing aside our best laid plans.

A break that was intended to only last a week turned into two. Two weeks turned into two months, and soon, I wasn’t even thinking about writing for myself anymore.   

I love to think of every single one of you as my friends. People that I’d love to have coffee with, shake off the façade, and just talk about anything and everything. So, for new and old readers, it’s only fair I give you a brief life update.

In the time I’ve been away, I’ve become one half of a couple and am still learning to get used to the title of ‘girlfriend.’

I interned at an amazing creative agency which solidified my desire to continue working in the creative world.

I learnt how to be a better copywriter and manage a group of creative freelancers.

But in all the hustle and excitement, my creativity was suffering.

As much as I love writing about how we should kick fear’s butt or just keep going, I find it incredibly hard to listen to my own advice.

Every time I sat in front of a blank page and tried to write, fear would wrap his icy grip around my heart and tell me to stop.

 Mental blocks would come crashing down any time I tried to string two sentences together.

I stressed that people found it annoying whenever I spoke about my writing on social media.

I started to feel ‘silly’ whenever I thought about prospective employers or clients reading my work.  

I’m willing to bet that maybe you’ve felt this way too. Like, nothing you do will ever be as good as you want it to be. Like, maybe it’s pointless to keep sharing your craft with the world. Or perhaps your voice isn’t strong enough to cut through the noise.

***

I saw one of my favourite artist-writers in the flesh six months ago.

My creativity was at an all-time low. I could barely stand to look at a blank page or even think about what to write next, let alone show up on a weekly basis.

So, when this Brooklyn artist posted that he was giving a talk on my side of the world, I bucked up, scraped together the money for admission, and went off in pursuit of inspiration.

His talk was even better than I’d imagined.

Beneath his inappropriate jokes and crazy anecdotes, was a guy who truly understood what it meant to create. That it wasn’t necessarily about validation or being the best but doing it because we can. In this day and age, we have the power to express ourselves however we want and we shouldn’t waste it.

I realised I had been creating content solely to please other people and live up to their expectations of me. I’d let the fear of other people’s opinions dictate how I was writing and whether I chose to share it with the world.  Playing by other people’s rules may push you forward in the short term. But doing things for yourself because it truly brings you joy? Now that’s the golden ticket, babe.

After 90 minutes of dropping convicting truth bombs, the artist ended with this: “You are a tool, so you better get to work.”

It slammed into me and reminded me that I had been gifted with this platform. I’d been gifted an affinity to string words together and tell stories in a way only I can. And what a pity it would be if I let it all stay buried under my fear and insecurity of not being good enough.

So now, I’m passing this pep talk onto you, sweet reader.

You can either worry about what people are saying, or you can put your head down and create anyway.

You can either stress about the lack of inspiration, or you can try to find it in the people you meet, the movies you watch, or the books you read.

You can either be anxious about the fact that not everyone will like the things you create, or you can realise that there’s a unique group of people who need your talents.

You are a tool, so focus on your craft and just keep on going.

You never know who needs your gifts…


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