A Friday Thought to Chew On: Be Kind and Don’t Rewind

A Friday Thought to Chew On: Be Kind and Don’t Rewind

Today, when I interviewed one of the artists whose work I feature within my latest book OUR SEASONS, I didn’t realize that the inspiration for this week’s “Thought to Chew On” would emerge. So many of us carry out the many complexities and details of our jobs like it’s nothing, but there may be some underlying insecurities there that the rest of us don’t see. Case in point: this artist that I interviewed.

 

She admitted that whenever it comes time to do a public unveiling of a recent art installation she is struck by major anxiety as she begins to focus on all of the things she would do differently to improve the piece and anticipates negative feedback from others. I was surprised to hear this from someone so talented who clearly knows what she’s doing in the job she has chosen. But then I got to thinking about my own fears and anxieties that can weigh on me and sure enough, I get it. I too will admit that it is only after the book is complete and printed that those OTHER great ideas rise to the surface…different plot twists or alternative lines I could have fed my characters that might have packed more punch. Only after the job is complete and just as it is going to enter the marketplace do I begin to second-guess myself and consider all of these different choices I could have made.

 

I wonder why some of us do this. We can feel so confident and competent when we are in the process and immersed in the elements we’ve chosen to wrap around our lives but then enter the potential of feedback, and all hell breaks loose. If only we could  keep ourselves in the moment and not allow ourselves to look back and examine our footprints to consider how we might have walked differently — I could have walked this way instead or maybe I should have walked with greater stride or wait! Perhaps I should have worn different shoes altogether! What good does it do us to second-guess or punish ourselves for what we didn’t do? There’s certainly nothing wrong with learning from ourselves but self-flogging gets us nowhere once the words are already on the page.

 

I like to think that I can write a better book next time, and upon every new book published, I’m sure I’ll believe that. But in the meantime, I’m going to celebrate the steps I did take and try like hell not to question them. And maybe — just maybe — I’ll even consider that there is always the possibility (slim though it may be) that I actually got it right.  Maybe you want to try this strategy with me and join me in a mission to stop beating ourselves up by dwelling on decisions already made. With a little trust in ourselves, we can believe with some confidence that we did alright with the knowledge we had at the time and next time around, with more knowledge and experience, sure, we can do better! Let’s make a pact to start chanting it now during meditations or our daily commute and by New Year’s, we might believe it! ~ Chris  x

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