A Leap of Faith

 

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There are many of us stunted by fear – fear of the unknown; fear of failure; fear of succeeding; fear of fear itself! The overwhelming ‘What if’s?’ leave us paralysed, unfulfilled and miserable.  We even try to convince ourselves that ‘now is not the time’, or ‘that ship has already sailed’, or ‘somebody else has already sung it, wrote it, created, pioneered or mastered it.’ And maybe they have! But nobody has ever done it quite like you…

It doesn’t matter how many greats have come before us; or how long we have to imitate before we innovate; because whatever it is we are trying to achieve – we will be adding our own unique flavour and special spark. If you have a calling to do something, yet are allowing fear to stand between you and your dreams – then you risk a lifetime of discontent. For the risks of ignoring the whispers of your heart far outweigh any embarrassment of failure that may come your way.

Honour your dreams. Honour your soul. Don’t allow fear to hold you back any longer. Because yes – ‘there are hazards in anything one does, but there are greater hazards in doing nothing.’

Today, may we take a leap of faith. Let us remember that taking risks is fun, that FAIL simply stands for First Attempt In Learning, and that nobody does it quite like we do!

In Love & Light

Hayley xx

I Write Because…

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Writing 101, Day 1: I write because…

…to become a writer one must write. It really is that simple. I have this written on the first page of every notebook and journal that I own. To become a writer one must write.

This is something I told myself after months, years even, of procrastination. And I still have to remind myself of that simple truth daily. Oh…I’m too busy/stressed/tired/insert any other excuse *here*. I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of all of the above and have blogged about my tendencies to put off the one thing I love doing more than anything else here.

Procrastination is something I battle with daily. In saying that, I am becoming much better at establishing a writing practice (WordPress writing courses have helped significantly with this!) But would you believe, I almost made an excuse not to proceed with November’s writing challenge despite really wanting to take part? (Heh hem – you’re not supposed to say ‘Yes, I can believe it…!’) I signed up to November’s Writing 101 when the first invite was emailed – yet for some reason, I didn’t receive the usual confirmation or daily prompt when the course began. I immediately took this as a ‘sign’ that I was too busy preparing to emigrate in the New Year to commit to a writing practice anyway, and that I should probably wait for the next course to come around when things would be less ‘hectic’ (how easy it was for me to slip into my old habit of delaying the writing process!!!) So I had a quiet (and very stern) word with myself and contacted WordPress support before I could convince myself any further that it would be better to wait for that ‘perfect’ moment to write (you know – that perfect moment that doesn’t actually exist unless you create it?!)

Thankfully, here I am! And hopefully, I shall remain here throughout November, come rain or shine, taking time to indulge in a little writing each day. Yes – I will be sitting my ass down daily and committing to a daily writing practice because after all; to become a writer one must write!

Overcoming Procrastination

‘A journey of a lifetime begins with a single step.’
-Loa Tzu

I created my blog a while ago between work and studies and have just recently mustered the courage to write more frequently and to build a writing practise. So I figured “What best way to kick off then with the Writing 101 challenge?” And here’s what I came up with for my first assignment.

Writing 101, Day 1: Unlock the Mind

Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

‘You are your own worst enemy!’ Those words hit me hard. Mostly because my guitar tutor was telling me this after our third meeting. In such a small period of knowing me, he had already recognised my tendency to avoid that which I might fail at …

I pondered over his words for some time afterwards. It’s not that I didn’t recognise the truth in what he was saying, or that I didn’t agree with him, I was just surprised to hear it from somebody who’d known me for less than a total of three hours! He was right – I do get in my own way. There, I said it! I am a self-confessed procrastinator. I am the queen of amazing ideas that never come into fruition due to a self-placed fear of not being good enough.

Unsurprisingly, I have signed up for Writing 101 on two occasions before now. The first time, I made the excuse that it was too much pressure to write assignments for the blog whilst studying for a degree and juggling working as a teacher. I told myself that I didn’t want to begin something I couldn’t finish… (I know, I know, excuses excuses!) Who was I fooling when I told myself: “You can’t not finish something if you don’t begin it in the first place?!” The second time – I reached assignment three (privately) and gave up due to ‘life’ getting in the way. (Feel free to exchange the word life for myself here.) Just another example of something I gave up on through fear of not being good enough, not quite meeting the standards and worse still – being too scared to begin something I couldn’t finish…

To make matters worse – I am the biggest advocate of ‘never a failure always a lesson!’ I say it at least twice a day to the children I work with: ‘FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning!’; ‘Don’t be afraid to make a mistake! We learn from our mistakes!!’; ‘If you don’t try you’ll never know what you’re capable of!’ How many of us say this on a regular basis, yet do not heed our own advice? How many of us are our own worst enemies? So many people, myself included, delay the process of pursuing our dreams in search of finding the ‘right moment.’ I have placed so much pressure on myself to get it right the first time and to meet the standards that are out there, that for far too long I have prevented myself from beginning the process entirely! I have hidden behind the fear of ‘not quite being ready’ or ‘not quite good enough yet.’

Well not any more.

So why now? What makes this time any different from the previous gazillion times? How do I know that I won’t stumble at the first sign of pressure again? How do I know that this isn’t just ‘first day courage’ and that I won’t get writers block at Day Two? Well the truth is, I don’t know! I don’t know that I won’t get it wrong. I don’t know that I won’t get writers block, or run out of ideas, or have difficulty finding the right words to express myself or that I will find the time to write. But what I do know, is that I won’t know unless I try!

When asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I consistently replied: “I want to be an author like Roald Dahl!” If I was teaching myself today, the advice I would give to my younger self would be: ‘never give up on your dreams.’ So it’s time to be true to myself, to take that advice now as an adult and to practise what I preach – it is time to follow my dreams. And I wish you the sincerest amount of joy in following yours.

‘… the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.’ Rafiki, The Lion King.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please don’t be afraid to leave honest, constructive criticism. Despite my tendencies to procrastinate – I truly believe that we learn and grow from each other and our mistakes! I am here to grow as a writer and to meet some wonderful people during the process.

Good luck with your assignments everyone!

Hayley xx