Affirmation: I give myself permission to suck.
Test ... test ... this is only a test....
If you're already a subscriber to my new blog, you'll know that the notification for one of my recent blog posts came out with the "from" line saying, "test test" (see picture below).
I'm not sure what happened. I didn't even know you could change that line, so I'm guessing that Wix support did it when checking out an issue I asked them about. But, I'm not here to merely point out that this mistake wasn't my fault (although, my ego wants to be sure that point is clear!). I'm here to make sure this is clear:
Mistakes will happen ... I can promise you that!
I have decided that it is part of doing something new and ... I'm (mostly) ok with that. Which is a big deal for me to say ... just sayin'....
If you're anything like me, you might like to pretend that it's not only possible to live a mistake-free life, but that it's something to strive for! And, I can tell you something from experience .... it's exhausting thinking that way. It can make you hesitate to try things or take so long doing them that the ad nauseum checking and re-checking can even lead to taking all of the joy out of a project.
So, I thought I'd share a few examples I've noticed recently that help me when I realize something like the "test test" debacle has happened. And, as usual, I found some inspiration from an unusual place - good ol' reality TV! And bonus, if you're looking for new shows to binge-watch, I've got you covered there too! You're welcome...
My husband and I have watched a show called, Blown Away. It's a glassblowing competition series on Netflix that is super cool. Glass blowing is such an amazing art and it's so fascinating to watch it being done ... I highly recommend the show.
Anyhoo, while watching this show, we often found ourselves on the edge or our seats because of the sheer number of times the artisans would have to start over because of glass falling off the little metal thingy (I'm sure that's the technical term for it) and completely shattering! At one point, we came to realize that we were more nervous about it than they seemed to be! Don't get me wrong, they were annoyed when it happened, of course, but they just seemed to accept that it was an inevitable part of the process, and they would just .... now get this ... they would just begin again.
What they had done was accept the reality that the glass will fall off ... a lot! In fact, a glassblower named Jared Last reviewed the show after watching it and said: "They were definitely very honest about glass falling off and breaking on people. It's a medium that definitely keeps you humble all the time because that sort of thing happens with frustrating regularity!"
Two other shows that illustrate this point beautifully are a TV show called The Movies that Made Us (also on Netflix) and a Podcast called How I Built This with Guy Raz. They talk about iconic movies and businesses that are monumentally successful that had more than their fair share of starts and stops, and yet, in the end, still ended up being amazing.
The author, Anne, Lamott wrote, "Expectations are resentments under construction." I think truer words have never been spoken. If we start with the expectation that it is possible to live a mistake-free life, we are just setting ourselves up for a lot of disappointment. If you set the expectation at, "Yep, sometimes I'm gonna suck..." ... it's totally freeing, isn't it?
So, when I decided to go forward with this website/blog, I decided to accept the reality that there are going to be mistakes. And I have to say that, when the "test test" email appeared, it didn't really bother me (well, not too much, anyway...) because I had already accepted that it would happen. I am telling you, it really does make a difference!
If there's a mistake or anything else that you're beating yourself up about right now, take a minute to look at it and see if your expectations are unreasonable. Is it just a reality you need to accept? Can you learn from it, cut yourself some slack, and move on?
Maybe you can take some advice from another glassblower, Ian Shearman who said, "If ... something goes wrong, often you simply can’t fix it — you just have to sling it into the bosh bucket for recycling and start again."
Spiral level: All
Use when feeling: accepting, anger, anxiety, down on self, frustrated, overwhelmed, worried, regret