Today, I feel like crap. I spent the whole day dragging, my body very sore, and longing to crawl under my covers. Like many others, I have an immense amount of anxiety surrounding Covid-19. I believe that I have fixated on this disease so much that I have begun to manifest symptoms. Now, I have to stay off work (my symptoms aren’t severe enough to be tested), and assume that I have this thing that I fear.
I guess I shared that because this is going to be a lazy post. It also reminds me about the power of suggestion, the power I give a thing or thought. Covid-19 isn’t imaginary, it’s a real enemy. But, I can’t tell you how many times I handed fear my power. How many times I allowed myself to be paralyzed into inaction.
Even the movie “IT” ended with the Losers finding out that Pennywise the (horrific) Dancing Clown was only so terrifying because he fed off their fear! I read the book, watched the miniseries, and later saw the movies. I NEVER applied the “moral” to myself. I continued to power my personal demons with my fear. My demons are quite gluttonous as well- I fed them big Thanksgiving feasts, yet they were never full.
I realize that I can simply stop giving my monsters my energy. I need to face my fears and recognize them for what they are. Pennywise was just a clown. The things I fear hold no power. Tangible or intangible, I give everything permission to either help or hinder my growth. Fear is power- I will be afraid, but I must evaluate those fears and devise a way to overcome them. Lazy post over.
“You become what you believe.”
My goal is to become a professional content creator by 2022.
How could I talk about success without mentioning Oprah Winfrey? I can’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, and won’t! I remember watching Oprah as a child on a show called A.M. Chicago. Even then, her personality was enormous. Her presence was magnanimous. A young black woman with ambition. I was inspired by her journey from morning anchor to mogul. I saw myself when I saw her.
Somehow, along the way, Oprah stopped being an extension of me. I stopped believing that I could follow in her footsteps. In fact, the responsibility of “expectations” began to weigh heavily upon me. I didn’t know its name, but anxiety was still my constant companion. I actually intentionally underachieved so I wouldn’t be expected to do more. I always thought I was lazy, but I now know that I was afraid.
Fast forward 30+ years- Oprah is a self made billionaire. She imagined herself as the queen of a media empire, believed it would happen, and executed accordingly. In the same span of time, I talked myself out of chasing dreams. I did raise a son, work in different fields, and learn a lot. As far as believing I had the tools necessary to do what I love full-time, I didn’t.
Suddenly, I realized that I have to take a leap of faith. I wanted to start a podcast and I actually followed through! In November of 2018, I launched “After the Snap”. There are about 70 episodes in the archives, but I discontinued after I started True Crime: By The Book. I also have “Gifts of My Ancestors” as a third show idea. I have been talking myself out of attempting to revive “After The Snap” or start “Gifts”. I realize now that my inner voice is telling me that I can produce three podcasts. Now, I have to convince the rest of me that I do have what it takes to generate $35000/yr through podcasting. I know it won’t happen tomorrow, but I need to start laying the groundwork today. My goal is to become a professional content creator by 2022.
“You become what you believe.”
When you believe something, you move like you have a purpose! I’ve shared my long term goal; it’s time to break down what smaller steps I need to make to get there. By 4/12 I will have outlines to determine what I have to do and when I have to do it. I have to begin to believe that I can podcast for a living. Everything else will come.
We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.
Today’s mantra is a continuation of yesterday’s. It piggybacks so nicely on the idea of allowing myself to have a choice. Many times in the past, I have stumbled into situations. All kinds of things would happen to me and I would chalk it up to having no choice. As I reexamine my thoughts and feelings, I believe that I felt defeated. Each set of circumstances led to another life TKO. Before I knew it, I’d be faced with a new fight that I was untrained for and lose again.
I think of how many times I saw Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis change their fight strategy in the ring. The moment I read the mantra, I immediately thought about boxing. I used to watch a lot of fights as a youngster and I admired the tenacity of the pugilists. I would yell at the TV “Get up!! GET UP!!”, and cheer them on as they came to a wobbly standing position. They lived to fight another round!
Now, I marvel at how little I learned from them. I gave up on a lot of things way too soon and plain old didn’t start others because I was conditioned to be defeated. Every chance I got to extend the (life) fight I offered my chin, threw the towel, or took a fall. Even with familiar foes, I didn’t lean on my fight plan.
This quote from Maya Angelou reminds me that all of my prior defeats were the early rounds of a prizefight. I am able to lose rounds but still win the fight. That requires a plan. I have to study my opponents “tells” from the early rounds- and armed with this new data- adjust. Every setback is a setup in this type of fight. I must study the opponent, develop a plan, execute, and adjust. Each new round is a chance to fight again. I have to protect my chin, bob, weave, roll with the punches, and counter.
Going forward, I will remind myself that it’s not over til the fat lady sings. I won’t just stumble into decisions or indecision. I want to get to know my opponent- whatever form it takes. I will very likely lose some rounds but I won’t allow myself to give up fighting.
If this sounds familiar let me know in the comments. If you have any encouraging words for an old lady searching for herself, I will appreciate them. Just yell, “Get up, get UP!” and watch me rise like a phoenix! Later, Bookworms!
Every time I think of the phrase “Push yourself”, sports or physical exercise always comes to mind. The truth is, this applies to many areas of my life. Sometimes I need a little nudge to quit playing out scenarios in my mind and jump into action. What I have done in the past is set up all the hurdles but never run the race! I’m still exhausted, yet have gained absolutely NOTHING.
When I think of the mantra I chose for today, I’m reminding myself that this is not a sprint. I am in a race of one. And just like any other race, I won’t win if I don’t GO. That means getting out of my own way, stop thinking of everything I assume will go wrong and believing that any obstacle I come across can be overcome. I recognize that these limitations are self-imposed. I set the hurdles up, so I can also take them down. I don’t have to build Rome in a day but I do need to lay the first brick.
This week I plan to get at least 1 bonus episode of True Crime: By the Book uploaded to Patreon. Not 17, just one. It may sound simple, but I’ve been obsessing over how many patrons I DON’T have instead of creating content to attract them. I don’t need to go fast, I just need to go.
If you’re following along, how do you overcome paralyzing anxiety? Do you think today’s mantra (and applying it) will be the kick in the pants you need? I’ll share my progress with my first challenge by 4/6/20. If you set a goal, I would love to hear when you achieve it! Catch me tomorrow for day 3 of Born For Greatness.