Four months into 2021 and I’m reflecting on the goals I set for myself earlier this year, particularly the ones I haven’t been able to keep up with:
- Doodle every single day
- Create a one-of-a-kind (OAK) piece every week
I’m a bit of an overachiever and when I’m not able to keep up with the things I set out to do, a big part of me just wants to give up. And to be honest, I did for a bit. I stopped doodling and I stopped painting. What led to this abrupt stop was simply life. I moved to a new city and found myself in a place of transition, change, healing and needing time to process/feel it all. In some ways I took time off to just exist and be human. But I ended up nose diving into a spiral of comparison–which killed my joy.
At first, I didn’t realize why I stopped doing the things that brought me joy. I would blame it on not having enough time or that I’m focusing on other “important” work, aka my freelance work. But after having honest, vulnerable conversations with a few close friends I realized the cause was fear and doubt all stemming from comparison.
I second-guessed myself with questions like: “What do I have to bring to the table? Well if they’re already doing that, what’s the point of me trying?” Those questions were followed up with negative thoughts of: “I can’t do this. I’m not cut out for this.” My comparison led me to not only doubt my capabilities but my worth and being.
All of this paralyzed me from continuing to do the things I love and the things that bring me joy.
Here’s how I am choosing to begin again:
1. Prayerfully. I wrote down a prayer to combat comparison. I’m starting my day by reading it aloud. Here’s an excerpt from that prayer:
“May I be grateful for what I have and who I am. May I compete less and collaborate more. May I be inspired by others and become a better me. Teach me to embrace who I am.”
2. Intentionally. Stop looking to the left and the right. I created a vision wall of paintings that express my hopes and desires. Right in the center of the wall is a gold heart mirror. When I stand in front of that mirror with all of the paintings surrounding it, I am reminded that the vision for my life is so unique and tailored to me that I cannot look to my left or right and compare my life to others.
3. Vulnerably. I am choosing to continue to be honestly vulnerable with myself and those closest to me. I no longer want my shame or guilt for feeling negatively to keep me from experiencing freedom. By calling out the lies that are fed by comparison, and having friends to call out those things when I cannot, is critical for this time.
All of these things I’m choosing to do are rooted in creating space to declare truth over lies. While I’m in training mode and building up this muscle against comparison, I am posting up verbal and visual reminders all around me. For the times I feel weak and may fall prey to the trap of comparison, I have the words to fight back and remind myself of the truth of who I am at my fingertips.
Over time I won’t have to rely on these visual and verbal reminders. Instead, a new confidence in who I am will begin to grow and be ingrained in me – it will become second nature.
Today, I challenge you to begin again.
Assess your heart and mind. Be honest with yourself about what’s keeping you from beginning again. Choose 2 practical things you can do to remind you of who you are. And even if you don’t feel like it, pick that thing back up and just do it. Just do it for JOY and release yourself from outside pressures.
Share what you are wanting to begin again below in the comments.
We believe in you and are rooting for you as you choose to begin again.