Last Tuesday night I sent out my very first email newsletter. This felt like such a big win for me. It’s something that I’d been meaning to do for a while now, but, like so many other things, it just sat on my overflowing back burner.
But I finally took action and did it. I was so excited to make progress on something and knew that this would be a big step in getting the ball rolling and keeping me accountable for the direction I want to head right now. I was so inspired and motivated to double down on my creative dreams!
Until the next morning…
Because of how I’m wired and the many interests I dabble in, I have a very good track record of coming up with ideas for things I’m going to do that never get anywhere before I switch gears and move on to the next thing that grabs my attention. I usually circle back and make little bits of progress here and there, but I never really move the needle. I’m well-versed in discouraging myself and letting the doubts take over.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve improved quite a bit in this area, but I still have a long ways to go. Certain days it’s so easy to get sucked back into those habits and ways of thinking. This time around, the dialogue went a little something like this:
You know this will just be another thing that you start and never maintain. That’s what you’re good at. Getting consumed by the thrill of a new project without actually taking reality into consideration or tangibly starting the process. The excitement will fade and you’ll add it to the list of things that you couldn’t commit to. That’s how it always goes.
I know you’re proud of actually starting on something that you intended to, but that “big win” of sending out your first newsletter? That’s literally the easiest part of the whole process. Congratulations, you wrote one newsletter. Not only did you write that one newsletter, but you were in the mood to do so. You think you’re actually going to be able to write consistently and when you don’t feel like it? You know you’ll be at the mercy of your emotions and will rarely ever feel like doing it. So you won’t. Cause that’s how you operate.
This is probably a good time to remind you of the ten other things that you’re supposedly working on right now that you still haven’t gotten anywhere with. But hey, I’m sure adding another thing to the mix will give you a better chance at finishing something. That’s worked before.
And on, and on, and on…
Now there were certainly external factors that contributed to my change in mood—I didn’t get enough sleep and had other obligations that threw a wrench in the middle of my day and wrecked my momentum—but that’s part of life and there will always be things that get in the way.
Thankfully, though, I’ve had some distance from the day after and can evaluate things a little more objectively. Am I still full of doubts and fears and insecurities? Of course. This inner dialogue stems from my real-world track record which is why it can be so debilitating at times. Lies that have truths built in are hard to ignore.
Track records can be changed, though. You can improve things over time. It’s not easy, but it is possible. I know this journey will be difficult and my doubts will overtake me at times. I know I’ll get discouraged and lose heart and want to quit. I know I’ll likely have long periods of time where I don’t show up and write. But I also know that I’ve made a lot of progress in rewriting my life’s track record over the last few years and am at least a little better equipped for this next endeavour.
With the conclusion of this writing, the score stands at Jenelle 2, Newsletter 0. While this isn’t a metric that I will continue to keep track of, it’s a good start in stumbling in the right direction.
How do you deal with your doubts? What does your track record look like?