“What can I learn from this? What will I do next time I’m in this situation?”
- Carol Dweck
I once heard someone refer to Medium as a great place for a regular “brain dump.”
Today I really need a brain dump.
While the word dump is the farthest from how I would describe my experience so far on Medium, if I’m going to continue writing every day like I’ve promised myself, I’ve got to have some days where I just sit here and write, regardless of how bad it might be.
That seems to have been an odd theme of my writing recently- how bad it is in the beginning. It’s been fun to see themes like this emerge and to discover my voice more throughout these last couple months.
There’s a lot I have written about and a lot more still left in me.
Nearly every day ideas come to mind of articles to write, but some days when I sit down to actually write nothing comes. Those are the hardest days to continue to write and actually hit publish but often end up being the most rewarding when I finish.
One fun thing about writing is that you can discover yourself and how your brain works more deeply the more you write.
It seems easy, at first, to just sit down and write whatever comes to your mind. At first, you’re bad and you know that you’re bad and the thrill of publishing anyway to see what might happen gets your heart pumping faster.
It’s exciting and fun.
Then reality sinks in and the monotony of keeping your commitment to write every day gets difficult.
This applies to anything we love to do that takes effort, from writing to running.
But only those who continue practicing will become.
Right now I’m listening to Mindset by Carol Dweck. She’s talking about various athletes like Michael Jordan who weren’t just naturally talented like it may seem they are.
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
- Carol Dweck
We all want to have the mindset that we can just power through all that pain that’s required of us to practice every day to reach our full potential. It’s easy to think that we can when we’re watching a motivational video or setting goals and making plans.
But when the rubber meets the road, then it gets difficult.
Your alarm clock goes off at 4:30 am.
You hit the wall at mile 10 of your half marathon.
You see your boss calling and he gets mad at you again for another mistake.
You want to give up.
This has been me recently. I’ve wanted to give up. It’s part of why I’ve been writing so much about quitting and giving up and trying to continue on.
I’m learning, however, that sometimes my mind knows something that my heart isn’t quite ready to receive.
Right now, my mind knows that I need the valuable practice I’m getting from waking up early, getting chewed out by my boss, and countless other experiences.
My heart isn’t always ready, which means that when it’s time to face the facts of where I really am, I freeze.
It really hurts to know how bad I suck.
Yet, there’s nothing wrong with that, at least not as long as I learn from it and move on.
It’s okay to get down when you lose. When you aren’t good enough. When you really do suck and you know it.
But it’s not okay to give up, to stay down.
I’m not giving up.
And neither should you.