Things I’ve been thinking about

There are two things that I’ve read this week which have really stuck with me. I thought that they were unrelated but I think that I might have been wrong. They are both, in their own way, about empowerment and finding your own way.

The first was a blog post by a wonderful man who, from the first time I met him nearly 15 years ago, has made a massive difference to my life. It is about how important it is to keep going, even when things are tough. About the fact that movement, any movement, is critical, even if you don’t see the destination when you start out.

The second was from the wonderful Brainpicker. It is about trusting yourself and not prioritizing other’s opinions over your own. It is about growing that self-belief that I have written about so many times but still seems to elude me, and finding your own way, regardless of what others may think or you may think they think.

Neither piece of advice is rocket science. Both require, I think, a sense of energy and courage that are hard, sometimes, to find.

I have been frustrated with myself for a while now at what seems my lack of movement. Have felt that I talk all the time but the actions don’t seem to materialise, that I am constantly asking what others think because my own opinions are limited by the fact that they are just mine, because I care what other people think.

And yet.

I wanted to write this to remind myself that, in the past, it has been the periods of frustration and stagnation that have led to the biggest changes. That you are sometimes spurred to keep going because standing still when you’re standing in the wrong place is incredibly uncomfortable. And that I have learnt that through feeling it myself.

And, I wanted to write this so that I can hold these two notions, which I think really matter, at the front of my mind. To focus on putting one foot in front of the other and only worry what I think about where I’m putting my feet, because that is the key to the rest of it falling into place. Or so I hope. And it is so easy to forget these things, when you’re caught up in it all. It’s so easy to get hung up on what you’re not doing or what other people think about what you’re doing, and that’s a red herring. That doesn’t help.

I don’t have a plan for doing this. I don’t think it comes through words although writing it down might help. I think it comes through hard work and through trying things out, through action. And I worry sometimes that all this introspection is harmful, that it’s an excuse for doing things or ends up becoming an end in its own right.

Maybe.

Or maybe you need to go through these periods of thinking things out, because when you’ve realised something important, it is impossible for things to stay the same.

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