Sunday, June 02, 2013

Girls Club: Self-Love

I almost wonder if I shouldn't wait a couple of days to compose this, instead of leaping onto write up a post the moment I get home. Give the thought some time to stew and get rrrreal tasty like.

This month's meeting  presented us with quite a range of exercises which would enable us to break down some mental blocks, reinforce some obvious strengths, help us identify perhaps unhealthy aspects in our current environment and generally help us to be happier within ourselves.

Self-love, self-worth, self-esteem; these things are all ridiculously personal and tied up as much to our immediate surroundings as to our upbringing and history. While we may all suffer from, say, the idea that we're just not good enough, the paths that have brought us to this conclusion are surprisingly varied.

As a result, there is no one way to address the issue, as each person's demon is tailor-made just for them.

For example; affirmations. I've never used any sort of affirmation, as when I hit my late twenties I used up my "I hate myself" tolerance, decided that all this self-loathing used too much energy, and promptly stopped. (Which is not to say I'm happy with myself, I simply don't spend much time beating myself up. Benignly indifferent? Is that a stance I'm allowed to claim?)

However, for others, forcing yourself to write and speak a simple statement that they do not initially believe to be true can be effective. Just as you can't move a hill with only a single shovelful, you must repeat the action to break through. Many shovelfuls later, the hill is moved.

The advice given was to choose an exercise that perhaps didn't appeal to you, precisely to get you out of your comfort zone and challenge something that is perhaps too deeply entrenched. Me Dates are something I've been lax with of late, and so I've already blocked off a few nights in my calendar for TEZATAIM, and they will probably involve nothing more than sitting in a cafe with a notebook, but I'm already looking forward to them. I've written before about my Happy Caps folder, but I'm going to start another, purely for professional validation.

I've a horrible feeling what I'm going to be left doing is PR for myself, as an exercise.

Have to admit, Deb and I shared a small look of horror when we discovered this exercise. Promotion of the self is, for better or worse, become a Must Have skill for writers at the moment, and shows no sign of changing. One of the blessing curses of the internet is more exposure and reaching more readers, which unfortunately means more exposure. Writers, being solitary creatures for the most part, usually suck at this. Not as a skillset - a great many writers I know are excellent at their own PR - but it takes so much from them, it's a beast that devours their time and mental and emotional resources. The idea of doing PR when I don't actually have to seems nigh daft.

Another exercise I found interesting was letting go/reaching out, the idea being that if you have identified a person in your life as not being great for you, you let them go. However, for every person you let go, you should in turn identify someone who has a positive effect on you and try to strengthen the relationship with them.

Balancing my social wants to my emotional wants is something I'm grappling with at the moment. Melbourne is so full of wonderful and interesting people from whom I can learn all sorts of things and have all sorts of fun, and I want to spend time with these people!

I also want to spend time reading and writing.

Being as my one great fear is depression, I'm probably too good at cutting people who may be detrimental to me from my life. But figuring out how to cut down the number of awesome people around? This is possibly a zero world problem- wait. There are no problems, only challenges. This challenge indicates I have it pretty good, but holy shit it is hard to figure out.

A last exercise I shall do is the maintaining of the Reverse Bucket List, ie, a list not of things you want to do, but of things you've already done. And man, I have heaps. HEAPS. Piles even! And when I'm sitting at work, on the train, at home, being frustrated at the limitations of my life, I'll shove this list in my face and remind myself not to be greedy and patience is a virtue. You are quite good at making things happen; thus, things will happen.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and be amazed.

(I was on Young Talent Time as a kid, STICK THAT IN YOUR REVERSE BUCKET.)

1 comment:

  1. Young Talent Time! Amazing.

    The PR exercise was something I discovered through the "envy notes". I was taking notes on a female who I admire and envy in some ways, and noted that she's good at stating her vision for herself and promoting herself. And I thought, guys big-note themselves so easily! And this girl stands out, because she does it too!

    But it really helps her. It helps her be what she wants to be. She's not making herself small & mousy, or self-deprecating, or waiting around and hoping that others will magically notice her, and take her under their wing.

    And I thought about how I find this all so very, very difficult. So it's an interesting challenge - I'm doing the PR task this month too.