First things first, making a video got me into such a mindset pickle last year, cutting a 4 minute chat down to a minutes viewing. I kept telling myself that I was making the video for positive reasons, so I did it. There were so many things to think about. I was totally out of my comfort zone and I had rambled off so many reasons why I had been inspired by a magazine. Was I telling the truth? Absolutely! And as time moves on, so do our reasons for staying connected and recently I have come to realise, I use it – the magazine - as a tool, rather than as a quick read. It has been one of many guides for me through an adventure and a process of self-awareness and self-development. It has become part of the process in reminding me to have a little self-belief.
In my own personal review of what a magazine subscription can do, all I can say is if you find the right magazine for you, buy into it. I have to admit, last year was mind blowing and my first few blogs on life labs in 2018 reveal the true clash of surreal versus reality that we can become lost within if we choose to live a creative life. I’d been writing in solitude when I embarked upon the journey of re-invention with Psychologies Magazine.
I’d been setting up a platform as the Writer for nearly three years, whilst being a full-time parent and discovering I was quite the philosopher whilst dealing with a few female health issues which can remain in the closet, for now. I had been setting up and starting up as the Debut Writer and a Poet with the intention to complete four portfolios, poetry, children’s books, an intended Young Adult Fantasy Novel and more. I had and still have so many ideas, and I was tying myself up in knots.
The entrepreneurial world is an ark of a learning curve.
I’d studied, I’d learned the basics of social media. I had been told I should consider a start-up platform in 2013. It was all a little like riding a bike for the first time, some of it you have to do alone and many times did I fall of my bike. Sadly, on some occasions due to my naivety with social media, my wellbeing was pushed to the ground by so many mediums of voices (tricksters/trolls/spammers etc) online that I began to wonder why I was choosing a career as a Writer, over any other profession, surely I should return to the old ways, processing and remaining silent. I had begun to notice the web was full of spammers and fake-it until you make it people, I began to take the most innocent of comments as a form of attack. I didn’t believe I was made for this digital world, I was being too soft.
Soft, is a lovely place to be and being in solitude and writing was fine. Family life? All fine. But the digital realms were absolutely punching low, my self-esteem was bashed. The self-esteem was already balancing on a teetering edge from a physical health and purpose point of view, but now my basic core skills where being tested.
The continual attacks online just in being myself were starting to hit hard. Maybe I should have switched off. I could have walked away. Still, I wanted to make it as a Writer. Why wasn’t this working out? Was something out of focus?
I tried to remain resilient. I tried to be strong. I blocked trolls where I could. I steered clear of social media, never sharing personal information, and I focused upon my Professional Platform. If I was going to make it in this digital world as a writer of eBooks, then I would have to find my essence for resilience in a digital world.
Thanks to Psychologies Magazine I will use their terminology to finish up the rest of this blog.
Somewhere, somehow in my life-time-line I had spent so much time looking after everyone else’s boundaries. I had failed to keep an eye on my own and I was letting all sorts of verbal matter infiltrate my psyche, or as I realised recently, my mindset. I had become competitive, and I had never been competitive before. So, it was time to get back to the boundary setting drawing board (otherwise known as a vision board).
I began to reflect and realised I had never done anything for myself. I have always been the processor, doing as I am told, not questioning. I had never faced adversity truly in the face. I had never actually had to comprehend the use of the word resilience because I had never placed myself in a situation which would promote both positive and negative feedback. I had stayed below the nit-picking radar, and in truth I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be seen. Have you seen the way journalists talk about people in the spot light? To me they are scandalous. Personally, I generally only choose to buy a newspaper if I see something worthwhile to read. On a holiday in Alnwick, UK, I bought a newspaper full of interesting topics and sharing achievements in the area and I wished something like that was available locally. If it does exist, it is still playing hide and seek with me.
Last year the core values were realigned. I had my boundaries in place. It was time to get back up onto the metaphorical bike - some of us will call it a rollercoaster- dusting myself down and trying again. Something hadn’t been quite right prior to 2017. Now! With a bit of self-awareness and reflective journalling I returned to the place where I had left my self-esteem. I picked it up and looked around realising I had dropped it somewhere to keep the peace, anything to keep the peace.
I can’t decide whether I became resilient or hardened to the spammers and trolls on the web, voices within the ether that took no responsibility nor accountability for their word choices. I began to question whether blocking or muting was the right way. How could I be resilient to something if I choose to block it out? As a child I had been resilient, doesn’t everyone experience nit-picking at some point in their time frame? So why did these stranger’s words matter so much to me?
This was all revealed when I completed the No Limits Worksheets in 2018, week 2. I had said I liked running. I don’t! I prefer dancing. I had said I liked a lot of things, then, stopped myself six months later and thought. So that's why I always feel like I'm in ground-hog and stifled, representing someone else’s life, not my own. This is quite natural and can happen when you live with someone for a very long time, and maybe if we read too many books.
I learned on an Open University Social Sciences Degree course: As children we imitate our elders and peers, as young adults we can still be at risk of peer pressures, and in later life, if we don’t remain true to our core values, we begin to imitate our partners and peers. Ouch!
From experience, I have seen this can happen to men too, anything to keep the peace.
It was quite painful to observe. I hadn’t even realised, and even worse, I had begun to think I couldn’t defend myself, and I believed I had to rely on the significant other to protect me. Pass me the bucket! This is life, not a fairy-tale.
Recently, I have begun to understand how I had limited myself in my own quest as the Writer, I had been living with the vision that the words will be read when I’m gone. I read a lot of Renaissance Literature and have based my platform upon a deceased method of practice. Silly me! Today, is the digital age.
After a chat with my wonderful daughter last week, who is a mini-CEO in the making, she said “Mum, you’ve got to stop thinking you are only worth knowing when you’re a dead-poet and just enjoy the experience in being famous.” I replied, “I don’t want to be famous, or bullied online, I just want to write!” To which she flippantly remarked, “That’s your issue then. Make a decision." I truly value my daughters calm wisdom.
I've made a decision.
In these recent months I no longer feel stifled, nor in ground-hog. I absolutely feel truly blessed. Ideas are starting to form and take shape.
Next time I will share how I began my laughable personal resilience training. It has been quite the experience and is certainly an ongoing adventure in learning how to laugh at myself.