For those of you out there who were fearing that I had fallen into a deep dark blogging abyss never to resurface, you were partially correct. As per usual, I like to go through a little mini crisis about my blog every couple of months where I doubt everything I write, put down every idea I have and therefore DON’T WRITE ANYTHING. And the more I think about not writing, the more I decided I should probably write about WHY that’s happening. Because this isn’t just something that impacts my blog, but impacts my daily life as well. So, we’re going to get a little personal on the blog today. Here goes.
As the title states, I believe that I Am My Own Worst Enemy. And why is this I hear you ask? Because I let Judge Kayleigh take control 70% of the time. And recently, she’s being very, very noisy in my head right now. And who is Judge Kayleigh? Ultimately, she’s that voice telling me No. She’s a voice of resistance, judging me, and making decisions about who I am for doing certain things, before I’ve even done them. And she certainly doesn’t just exist for me. I’m pretty sure that most of us have someone banging the gavel in our brains, telling us we’re useless, telling us we should feel guilty or simply stopping us from doing things we want to try. We all have a different name for this voice, and for some it is louder than for others. But on this present day, Judge Kayleigh is really being very loud.
And what kind of things does she say? Here’s some potential examples:
- That blog post idea is rubbish, and someone’s already done it. So you’re unoriginal. You should just stop altogether.
- What the hell did you just do on stage just then? I’m pretty sure everyone noticed. Like.. every single audience member. HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME WOMAN!
- You’re off sick…. That probably means everyone at work will think you’re skiving off… You should feel bad for being off.
- They aren’t seeing you for that show probably because one time you messed up in one audition and so-and-so probably told so-and-so and therefore it’s going back to them and that will 100% be the reason why. Definitely.
- He’s only into you for one reason and one reason only. So you should probably stop trying for a relationship and go for what you know you can get.
- HOW DARE YOU JUST SLEEP WITH A MAN YOU HUSSY?!
- You should go to the gym. Because you need to tone up. But also everyone will 100% be staring at you the whole time because you are probably lifting the weights wrong and everyone is laughing. That will 100% happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW ALL OF THAT IS BULLSHIT. Utter… turd… from a male cow. But unfortunately, i’m entering back into a period of uncertainty in my life which means that Judge Kayleigh has her megaphone and it’s really quite irritating. And so, I wanted to write this post, not only to address the fact that these niggles exist, they exist for many of us and they are super annoying, but also to outline some ways that I am aiming to deal with the racket Judge Kayleigh is deciding to make. (Can we appreciate that I feel like I’ve genuinely created some sort of mini-villain right now…. The Chronicles of Judge Kayleigh… I need to make this into a cartoon.. anyway…)
I said that I Am My Own Worst Enemy and that is because I’ve just been placid and allowed these niggles to rise up to an unacceptable noise level. It’s easy to do. It’s sometimes feels like the best thing to do is to sink into a little hole, and allow the noise to swallow you up. But ultimately, you get a little lost in the static and I think it’s time for us all to just turn down the volume and allow ourselves to get back to who and what we really are. And here’s how we’re going to do it…
Take care of yourself physically.
I know the doubting comes from within, but sometimes a long bath or shower is all it takes to shake off those feelings. When you are in a wallowing mood, sometimes all you want to do is lie in bed, hide under the duvet, and be a mess. DON’T DO IT. Get up, take a shower, wash away yesterday and start your day afresh. Maybe paint your nails, or lads give your beard a trim. Do something for yourself so that you know you are taking care of yourself. If you can face it, hit the gym and get into a proper sweat. Notice how it makes you feel to have blood pumping through your veins and sweat across your forehead. You are the only one of your kind, so take care of that body of yours in whatever way you feel is best.
Give yourself structure
I find that the voice rears it’s head more when I have free time that hasn’t been filled. Now I don’t mean to schedule every moment of your week so you don’t have any breathing space, but give your day structure. For example, I’m off sick today, but I knew I’d need to do something or i’d feel horrid. So i’ve got my washing on, I went out to get some air and buy some food. I’m going to cook a specific meal later. I’m knitting a jumper so will spend some time on that whilst catching up on suits. These are menial menial simple tasks. But I have this list in my head so I know that I have things to be doing, to keep my mind active. As of Monday I am starting a new fitness plan that has a strict schedule. I suck at these usually, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to schedule these workouts into my day to not only gain confidence in the gym, but to give my day a sense of focus.
Write down your worries
I find that writing out my thoughts helps me a lot. I don’t mean keeping a journal necessarily, but if I’m worried about something I’ll get the thought out onto paper so it isn’t taking up space in my head. (It’s precisely what I’m doing right now with this blog post haha!) Or if i’m really stuck on a decision, i’ll write pros and cons for both. This stops me from just ignoring the issue because I can’t bare to make a decision that I worry will be the wrong one. I find that expelling the thoughts from your head give you a bit of clarity to see things from a more rational point of view.
Go and talk about your feelings
I don’t mean going all Mean Girls on me and asking to bake everyone a cake full of smiles and rainbows. But in all seriousness, talking about your thoughts, no matter how irrational can help so much. I’m not ashamed to say that counselling has previously helped to equip me with a better resilience to my own self-doubt! Not all of us can do it on our own. So asking to chat to a friend over a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is totally allowed, as is seeking help from a professional! When we speak about what’s going on inside, it can help us to find our way through our thoughts. I sometimes feel like my head is a jumbled up ball of wool, and by talking about it to someone you have an extra pair of hands to help you unravel it into something manageable.
Even just writing this blog post has helped to just dull down the noise a little. So i’m sorry if this seems like a giant ramble to some of you, but I’m hoping that maybe one person may benefit from this. In the industry I work in, you go through a lot of periods where you really doubt your abilities and I think for me this is just one of those times. The good news is that I’ve realise that’s where I’m at and I’ve come up with an action plan to start to quieten those thoughts that are getting in the way. Ultimately, we can choose whether to be our own Enemy in life, or the Hero. And today I know which role i’m going to choose.
– Koko x