Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Next Chapter – Secret #5 Committing to Self-Focus

I’m taking part in an online book blogging club called The Next Chapter. This post is part of our discussion about The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Feel free to jump in to the conversation here or with some of the other posts about Secret #5.  I haven’t had as much time to read, comment, or blog this week, so I want to send a great big THANK YOU to all the lovely bloggers who are reading and commenting!

This post is, in itself, an ironic comment on my level of self-focus: written late, squeezed in while I’m at the office*, because I’ve been too busy with everything else to take the time to do it during the week.

Time for my self and self-focus is something I’ve always been very bad at.  Yet, when I have an entire chapter reinforcing how important it is, I feel uneasy instead of empowered or inspired.  Was this part of the reason I couldn’t get it together and write a blog post by Friday?  Probably.

So, why is self-focus so hard for me?

  • Do I have fears of selfishness? – Yes
  • Do I put myself on top of the priority list? – Rarely
  • Do I allow distractions? – Yes
  • Does my perfectionism stand in my way? – Yes
  • Do I set healthy boundaries? – Probably not
  • Do I create solitude? – Sometimes, but rarely for creative endeavors or for things I want to do

Where do my difficulties come from?

  • My mother put the needs of others above her own
  • My father put the needs of others above his own
  • I am a Virgo, I have high standards, especially for myself, and perfection takes time
  • I have struggled with self-esteem and worthiness my whole life.  Who makes a date with yourself if you don’t even like yourself?  Didn’t learn to do it when I was young so it’s hard to pick up this habit.

I would have liked to finish off with a third list titled “What am I going to do to Change This?”  The ambitious part of me would put things like ‘get up a half hour earlier every day to write,’ and ‘tell my husband when I need him to take care of household things, so I can take care of myself.’  But, I think that list would end up a bit too bold.  The steps would be too big for my little legs to reach.  I already struggle trying to fit in exercise and sleep around my work schedule, and I don’t think adding more obligations for doing things that are good for me would help my stress level. 

But, doing nothing is also not an option for me.  So, I’m taking two tiny baby steps to bring self-focus more into my consciousness and daily life.  First, I’m re-framing and re-thinking my time and my actions to bring self-focus into the things I already do.  Second, I’m going to be keeping my journal even closer at hand, and open it and use it whenever it strikes me to do so.

*Well, it was started at the office.  I then ran out of time to finish it there and so it got finished at home two days later.


Genie Sea said...

Here's to baby steps! :)

D said...

the journal is a great idea. Good luck.

etherealgraphics said...

Jennifer, I so relate to 'adding another thing' to my lists! Maybe we should 'take a thing' off of them! Cheers!

Jamie Ridler said...

Cheers to baby steps. I hope they bring you somewhere yummy.