I am a “self-help” and “how to do X better” junkie. I find I crave information about how to improve processes or embark on new adventures, be it managing money, writing better, or learning how to beat procrastination.
As much as I love books like this, I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any in 2019. It’s high time I stop hoarding knowledge and begin putting it into action.
The parable of the talents is a Bible story that resonates with me. I’m not the savvy servant who doubled his master’s income while he was away. I'm the scardey Kat burying things of value in the sand where it won’t (and can’t) help anyone. Case and point, this is my third time launching this blog.
The cycle was a devastating one where my goals and grand ideas die on the vine. Instead of watering them with action, they would atrophy from the poison of self-doubt and fear. I loved them all and grieved for opportunities missed, but my watering can remained dry. Anxiety and depression started to creep in and do their dirty work. Eventually, that devolved into not doing anything. Netflix and Pinot took the place of nurturing creative pursuits and progress. I knew my current self and state of mind was the mortal enemy of my ideal self, but how could I settle this conflict of the soul? I knew I had to do something, but none of my planning, passion or efforts could take me away from being my own worst enemy.
Remember how I said no more self-help books? Well, I cheated and knowingly excluded online courses from that list. As such, I found myself on CreativeLive loading up my “save for later” library using a promo for their creator pass. The majority of what I added where about craft projects, but there was one self-help course that caught my eyes. Gary John Bishop’s course “Unf*uck Yourself.”
I’ve seen the book all over the place and heard the buzz, but I never picked it up in all my trips to Barnes & Noble. Hindsight being 20/20, I wonder if it’s because I knew it had ideas and concepts I wasn’t really willing to face. It’s easy to be suffering and stunted as a creative. It’s hard to do something about it to achieve your dreams.
I watched the course over the course of two days. At first, I dismissed it as another guide that would fail to fix me. By the end of it, I felt empowered and able to fix myself.
“You are trapped because you’re acting in alignment with your experience of yourself. It’s not in alignment with the life you say you want. All your problems exist in that conflict. There are the places where your actions have to win.”
The course made me break down why I did certain things (like zone out with Netflix instead of writing) and what negative self-talk led to unproductive or unhealthy behavior. I discovered my self-hate speech included things like not feeling good enough or smart enough to accomplish my goals and believing that everything important has already been said (and probably better) by someone else. The course unpacks the stones you probably didn’t know you were carrying and sets you on a path to stare down your demons.
Since completing the course, I’ve gotten to work on a series of craft projects to seed my future Etsy store (summer 2019!) and have started writing again. Gary John Bishop’s course (and most likely his book) isn’t there to save you. However, it will give you the perspective you need to change yourself.
I can say with confidence that I don’t need to buy any more self-help books in 2019. And that feels amazing. Here's to nurturing our best selves in 2019 and beyond.
I’d like to know how you propel yourself past self-doubt and fears? What resources have helped you to do so? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @culturynlife.