So I just turned 38. I’m not normally someone who uses birthdays as a marker to measure progress, but this birthday made me realise something that I’m not very comfortable with.
I’m exactly where I was a year ago. With the added bonus of post viral fatigue.
This is something I’m not happy with.
You see, I’ve been sprinting hard for the last year. Freelancing, writing, working, coaching, with some playtime in between. I’ve been pretty non-stop, but despite all of that motion I haven’t moved forwards.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some great people, made some amazing connections, increased my readership and had some fun. I’m grateful for all of that. I am.
But I’m still in the same place in life, doing the same things, and there has to be some significant changes in the next year.
I need to stop hiding. I need to get out there in the world and do what matters to me.
One of my favourite pieces in my Truly Confident Living method is my “What the Hell” exercise, and I need to say ‘What the hell‘ a lot more.
I need to stop putting 90% of my energy into freelancing, something that earns me good money but doesn’t light me up. I’ve known that for a while, but haven’t taken positive action about it. This hit home when my family read some of my blog posts (which was kinda scary and exciting) and were so glowing about my writing that they all chimed in saying that I’m ‘wasted‘ in my freelancing work and how much talent they think I have. They’re biased of course, but it was refreshing to hear.
I need to cut right back on the booze. Again, I’ve known this for a while but it was made clearer when a reader emailed me a few days ago saying, “I’m finding a real disconnect between writing about building confidence and your frequent references on Twitter to your drinking bouts.”
If I’m honest, I’ve been using drink as a way to switch off, and that just isn’t serving me well. That has to stop.
I need to be more generous. With all the work required in sprinting to stand still, I forgot about generosity. I’ve become too inward looking and that’s something that does me a disservice. I know that I step into my potential when I engage with a generous spirit, so I’ll be more free and less cautious with that.
I need to get back to my fiction writing, which I’ve neglected because a. I haven’t had time and b. it’s hard. This means a lot to me, and I get a huge amount of pleasure from it. I will get my novel published.
To be honest with you, writing this post, I feel like a bit of a fraud. I’m supposed to be all over this stuff, right? I’m supposed to be on top of my game; an example.
Just goes to show how easy it is to forget what’s important and to get sidetracked. It’s so easy to keep yourself busy and look into the lives of others, but not take the time to look into your own life.
What I do know is that I have the tools to change things, and I’m not afraid of a bit of brutal honesty. Confidence is being able to make choices that serve you well; choices that honour what’s important to you. I know about this stuff.
What I need to do is put what I know into practice and get into a new, bigger, better game. I’ll be doing some real work on all of this and I’m about to sign on with a new coach so that I’m fully accountable.
You can help too, if you’re willing. I want you to hold me to things – hold me to everything I’ve said here and call me on it if you see me not doing something.
A scene from the old TV show Fame just popped into my head. Curly haired piano playing genius Bruno Martelli had been approached to write some jingles for a TV ad, and he’s not sure whether he should compromise on his vision for his music or go ahead and make a quick buck doing some easy work.
He plays a piece of classical music for his teacher and mentor, Mr Shorofsky, that amply demonstrates his talent and passion. When he finishes playing, Mr Shorofsky pauses, then says,
“Very good, Mr. Martelli. But you can do better, and you know it.”
Bruno cancels the jingle work without another thought.
I can do better. I know it. Things WILL change.