Enter the Doubter Demon

I do my best thinking when I'm in the bathroom.  Or in my car.  Basically, anywhere that I can't have my computer.  By the time I get out of the bathroom or park my car, the thought (along with many others), has passed, and I don't remember it again until I'm guess where?  Back in the car or in the bathroom.  I could pick up my phone and record a note, but Siri sucks with understanding what I say.  (Maybe I mumble…?) And I can never quite remember the voice memo app thingy. I probably still have two memos from ideas that I got when I DID remember, and haven't remembered them until just this moment.  Whoa, a lot of remembering there. 

When I started my Simple Pleasure column, it was to hold myself accountable to come up with at least one article a week.  The idea of a Simple Pleasure was as the title states, simple.  In a 7 day stretch, surely I could come up with at least one thing that bought me pleasure, right?  By far and away, that answer has been yes, but actually finding the time to write about it, and come up with a visual to go with the post as well, has been the challenging part.  Most Sunday nights, instead of relaxing with a book or getting ready for my week, you'll find me frantically typing, along with getting irritated that I need to stay up late (again!) on a Sunday night to finish my one and only blog post for the week. 

Not only that, but once I finish it, I gotta edit it, and once I edit it I gotta schedule it, and once I schedule it, I gotta hop on over to mailchimp, paste in another picture, and get my campaign ready to go… so even when I'm done, I'm not.  Did you notice my Simple Pleasure post from yesterday had the picture from two weeks ago?  Forgot to mailchimp a new pic!

My goal was also to be able to come up with so many Simple Pleasures that I would have them all neatly organized and scheduled ahead of time (with pictures!), so that I could leisurely write more in my free time.  Key phrase here being "free time" in that I have NONE.  So, I've kept up with the posts, but some have just been 'meh' in my opinion.  I could blame the time, or I could take responsibility that I just didn't make the time to write until it was last minute.   I swear, though, I'm the type of person that operates better when under a deadline.  I type this as I'm about to go teach a class that I didn't plan but looked up an old sequence that'll work.  Again, excuse of time, real reason being not making that time.  But, as always, I digress…

This past week, as some of you might have noticed, I didn't post a Simple Pleasure.  The reason behind it wasn't that it was Labor Day and I took the Monday off.. That's my excuse.. My reason is that I didn't plan ahead, yet again, and so didn't get my post done.  We were at the beach from the second I got home from teaching until 9:30 that night, and finally sat down closer to 10 after getting the kiddos in bed.  Once we settled on the couch, while posting wasn't the last thing on my mind, it had already occurred to me that Monday was a holiday, and therefore, I didn't need to post.  That, and Titanic was on and since that's a movie I'll watch whether it's 5 minutes in or 5 minutes left… well, game over right there. 

Monday morning found me in the bathroom, coming up with writing ideas and nowhere to put them (someone PLEASE invent writable stay-on-the-shower-wall-until-I'm-ready-to-take-it-off shave cream!), when I panicked/remembered that I didn't have my Simple Pleasure done.  "Eh, it's Labor Day," I quickly thought/remembered again, and excused myself. 

Not cool,  Heather… in MY world, an excuse is a slippery slope to be on.  Next Monday I won't post because the sun will be in my eyes, even if it's raining.  Then, it'll be something else the following week, then I'll think that, since no one has asked me why I'm not posting, that they really don't care and, so, why the hell would I continue to post anyways???  Simple Pleasures ends, I get mad at my so-called friends that subscribed to my blog but that couldn't possibly care because they haven't asked me (even though it's not their fault at all, I need someone to blame for my own inadequacies) then comes the end of holding myself accountable, and begin the massive guilt trip that we only reserve for ourselves.  And this will all happen in my head, because I wouldn't actually blame anyone but myself, but would feel like I let down those that had taken the time to subscribe, read, and respond to my blog. 

While I don't feel I need to apologize for not posting on Monday, I do want to come clean about it, for more than one reason.  Because, if you know me, you know there's never just ONE reason.  First, by acknowledging that I made an excuse not to post, I (hopefully) won't do it again.  Second, my Simple Pleasures has been a safety post.  Sure, it gets me blogging once a week, and I needed to start somewhere.  But I'm posting about things that make me happy… which is nice and cute and maybe inspiring, but not personal. To date, while putting anything on the 'net is considered personal in my opinion, I haven't posted anything too personal. 

When I meet people, or see people that I know, and wonder if they have read any of my blog entries, panic and anxiety immediately kick in.  I send myself a copy of the posts as they occur, too, but I hardly ever read them, because when it hits my inbox, it's real, it's out there, and I can't take it.  Even with something as innocent as Simple Pleasure.  I start to freak out about how vulnerable I feel on posting, and I literally have to shut my brain off to that thought by thinking 'no, what you say isn't important enough for them to read' in order to move past the anxiety, panic, and gripping fear that envelops me. Nice self-talk, huh?  When I found out that a few of my cousins had subscribed to my blog, I was so scared about what they would think of me after reading my posts.  I actually considered not posting any more, just to avoid that fear.  The Demon Doubter kicked in:  Would I come off as goofy?  An idiot?  Dumb?  Were my posts interesting?  Who even writes about simple pleasures anyways?  Who do I think I am?  I'm a fake, a phony, someone just trying to start her own business and blogging and website, but not a real, true entrepreneur.  Oh, god what if they showed their families? Oh, NO, what if she showed the rest of our shared extended family?!?!!?  I'm never going to a family reunion again!  

I can say I don't care what people think, but apparently the thought of people snickering at me (or making up a story that they are), is something that's pretty deeply embedded in me and something I need to work through.  And I'm pretty sure that the negative self-talk I give myself every time I post on the internet, or about life in general on a daily basis, needs to get the eff out of my head, too. 

For heaven's sake, I thought two people were snickering at my teaching today!  I started making up a huge story about how one woman looked to another woman, they made eye contact and started laughing at me.  Because the class was relatively new I was self-conscious already, and the breath wasn't something I could hear with my students so instead of thinking they might be self-conscious about their breath I took it to mean that they didn't want to breathe audibly for me, I took their looks of concentration as looks of being pissed off, and started thinking that I suck as a yoga teacher and maybe should give up my class… maybe, my career.  Did I make the right decision in leaving my job?  Seriously?!?!? This all stemmed from a snicker that was really an attempt to mask a sneeze.  And all of this happened within a 10 secod span.  The Doubter Demon I have in my head that I referred to earlier … you know, the one that tells you that you aren't good enough, couldn't possibly amount to anything, and tries to keep you where you are, unhappy, blah blah blah, all based out of FEAR, is a force to be reckoned with.  The words 'I am my own worst critic,' definitely apply.  This bitch is fierce.     

When I read stories and watch movies or series, I like to have them tie up all loose ends at the end.  I don't like the ones that leave you hanging, not really sure of what ended and what didn't, if there will be a sequel, or what kind of parallels I'm supposed to draw in order to form my own ending.  I am STILL pissed with how The Sopranos ended, and to this day cannot listen to Don't Stop Believin' by Journey. <insert angry emoticon face here>

That being said, regarding my Doubter Demon, I don't know where to go from here.  So I don't really have an ending to my blog.  I could getall cliché and make some reference that leaves us all feeling optimistic that I've got it all figured out.  I could come up with an action plan, listing steps I plan to take to conquer the Doubter Demon.  But I won't because I just don't know.  I don't know how to combat her.  When she rears her head, it gets ugly in my head, quick.  I do know that being eternally optimistic, looking at the bright side of things, and learning to breathe into that fear instead of hiding from it like I used to, have helped me a lot.  And shining light on the dark can help with it, too.  Who knows, maybe just talking about it and making it public will help me in dealing with mine.  Time will tell… but, for now, I'm going to hurry up and schedule this post, and then try my best NOT to obsess about posting something more personally than I normally do.  Might as well do it now while the demon is sleeping, right?  Til next time…

Love, Happiness & Coffee (with no negative self-talk!),

Heather

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