When I get an idea I love, getting started is easy, but finishing sometimes seems impossible.
I want to write a book about scapegoating. I really want to do this, and have a lot of enthusiasm around it. I began this project 2 years ago: did a lot of research and thinking, interviewing and writing. And then got overwhelmed with possibilities that began to form some months in. After a while, I felt more frustrated than enthused, and eventually decided to give my brain a break and let it go for a while.
If you’ve gone through this kind of scenario, you might end up feeling frustrated – like me – starting to lose confidence in yourself and in the validity of your project.
In anything we endeavour, there are a number of steps we take in the process. This isn’t arbitrary, it’s natural, and happens with everything. In the shamanic tradition I work with, it’s called the Zero to 9 law. In Martha Beck’s paradigm, it’s called the change cycle, and there are 4 stages. No matter what it’s called, it’s natural, necessary and unavoidable. Using Martha’s model, we end something that no longer works for us, grieving it and letting it go; that opens us to dreaming in something new, planning how we want that to happen. Those are the first 2 stages. Stage 3 is about manifesting that dream. Martha calls stage 3 the Hero’s Saga, because this is the stage where we test things out in real life, encountering problems and issues we couldn’t have imagined.
Logically, this only makes sense. Emotionally, it can be painful. It’s the hard part and needs us to keep the faith and finish instead of quit.
This stage is on my mind a lot right now because I’m going through it. For instance, I’m working at getting a designation I have wanted for a number of years, and I’m nearly there. Then a few months ago, something happened I wasn’t prepared for and there was some fallout. My “normal” way of dealing with this would be to take the blame for everything and then try to “fix” what I actually couldn’t, leading ultimately to frustration and pain.
This time, I did something different: I looked at how I contributed and addressed that, also acknowledging those parts that worked well. And as a result, while I had moments of frustration and pain, I ended up feeling like I’d grown from the experience. I was grateful it had happened! I went from feeling frustrated to feeling Wow!
My challenge to you is this: the next time you feel frustrated about something you’ve been working on, take a short break, and see what you can do that will turn it from a painful experience that sends you into self-doubt, into a worthwhile one that truly adds to your knowing and sense of self-worth.
Now, let’s finish that book!
On Change and Healing – Martha Beck
Quote of the Week
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward. – Kurt Vonnegut
At times we need more – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages. For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .