If this is your first visit to my site, this post may seem like an odd introduction. It’s full of uncertainty & vulnerability. Most frequently you’ll find tips, tools & gadgets that I’ve found to help my heart-centered entrepreneur friends lives just a little bit easier. But today I have a guest post featured on Leonie Dawson’s website, and I’m sharing with you the writing that inspired that post. It’s a little raw, and should probably have had a professional proofreader run through it, but I’m sharing it but because the post went live last night & I really want to keep my own personal momentum going.
So, before I talk myself out of it, here it is:
What I’ve wanted to do my whole life, yet feel completely unqualified to do, is write. Write from my heart. From me to you. Sometimes from me, to me. Turns out I’m not that great with grammar & words. I need a full time editor, proof-reader and army of people looking over my shoulder to make my words make sense. Yet I dream.
Since I was a the tiny 3 year old version of me, sitting in the top shelf of my brothers bedroom closet, writing songs and stories (that coincidentally also weren’t very good – although Mom would tell a different story).
And wouldn’t you know it? While working through Leonie Dawsons’ 2013 Create Your Incredible Year Planner, the words that came out when I saw, “This year I give myself permission to….” were:
Publically make mistakes.
That’s it. Nothing else. Just those two “simple” yet completely mortifying words/phrases.
Allow myself to make mistakes in public? Feel ashamed if i need to (for a while) and write. You see, I have some stories I still want to share. I’ve been bottling them up because I don’t like feeling afraid, or ashamed, or embarrassed for that matter. And so instead, I’ve worked really, really hard to cover up a little glitch in the “Loralee System”. Worked so hard I go down for days at a time with migraine, or completely burn out and live with the pain of fibromyalgia. Because underneath it all, I’m trying so very hard to avoid being called ‘stupid’.
There, I’ve said it. With tears streaming down my face. I don’t want you to know I’m “not that bright”. That I never learned my times tables, and I can’t figure out a lot of words and grammar people seem to understand so effortlessly. It doesn’t stick in my head, no matter how hard I try to memorize it. The thing is, I’ve done a pretty good job of ‘faking it’. I ran a “successful” accounting software training business for a decade, finished an accounting degree with a 3.2 gpa (not wicked smart, but not too shabby) while hiding ‘adult dyslexia’ (It’s cruel, I have to rely on spell check to correct that word for me every single time) from everyone except my career counselor.
wanting to write and travel – knowing I can’t.
The older I get the more stupid I feel. My friends and colleagues are growing, evolving, blossoming. They seem wiser and more confident. And I feel like I’m two seconds away from being found out as a fraud. More and more convinced someone will call me out on my short comings. I’ve become a master at diverting people from noticing my short comings – it’s exhausting.
I know what I don’t know. I wish it was the other way around. I wish I were unconsciously incompetent. A blissful ignorance. Did you read “Flowers for Algernon
”? The main character has a mental deficiency, and participates in an experiment to “make him smart”. It works, but as he progresses through the story he notices the test subject (a mouse) is declining and realizes his own fate. He wishes the same for himself. To be back to a stat where he didn’t know any differently. Where he was happy and carefree about his “lack” of knowledge.
All the while, wishing I could write.
I shudder when people rave about my “brilliance” and how smart they think I am. It’s going to inevitably come crashing down around me. It’s not sustainable. They will eventually see the real me. The one who can’t understand basic grammar rules, and still counts with her fingers under the desk.
please don’t call me stupid
The wish that’s underlying each moment in every day. And now I can’t help wondering, if maybe embracing that very part of me (the part that isn’t all that bright – possibly even stupid?) would help me move forward.
Or, is simply coming “out of the closet” and telling you my greatest fear, enough?
I’m not entirely sure. Maybe this is simply some mid-winter blues helping me create a “pity party”, although I suspect it’s not. This dip in self esteem has been an underlying current throughout my life, commented on by everyone near and dear to me.
So, I will hit publish. And I will find tiny pieces of courage, today & tomorrow, and maybe every day this year. We’ll see!
For the short version (but with more pictures) to see my 15 minutes of fame over at LeonieDawson.com
(as part of Leonie Dawson’s annual guest posting event)
[info]This month I’m participating in another blog challenge, while beginning the transition of “work & personal blogs”. Before my birthday (next month) I’ll invite you to visit my new work website & I’ll begin using this again to talk about what I’m learning in business & life, and not necessarily what my clients and ‘ideal avatar’ is interested in reading about on a regular basis. Clicking the RSS feed might be the best “next step” today. And if you’re interested in the “how to outsource” ecourse designed for my ideal client, jump on board. It’s free & there’s no strings attached. Only my wish that you feel completely supported in your business & life, however best suits you.[/info]
Thank you for having the courage. This is the first time I’ve ever read your blog (found it in the comments of another blog in the challenge) and I am subscribing based on this post. I love the honesty and the vulnerability, and most of all I love your style of writing. When writing is edited to death sometimes it loses its strength. Keep writing, keep blossoming, and above all, know how incredibly intelligent and beautiful you are. Intelligence isn’t about grammar or spelling, it’s about doing your best and having the courage to do what you desire without having all the answers.
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” ~Napoleon Hill
Thank you so much for your wise words & encouragement Crystal. And I’m honoured you chose to sign up for follow ups! I think you’ll be receiving an ecourse as well. I hope that’s okay. ~ xo Loralee
Loralee – I can completely identify with you – I wanted to be a writer all my life – but got lost along the way. Now I just write from my heart and hope that my words will make sense to someone else out there. I know yours did to me – so lady, you ARE a writer and a good one. There’s no point writing big words, when you cannot connect with the reader’s heart, is there? 🙂
Corrine, it’s a powerful thing to offer empathy & understanding. I really feel this from you. Thank you. ~ Loralee
It’s so beautiful to see you take these steps forward. To write from the heart there is no wrong. Kudos!
It’s wonderful that you are part of this blog group because it’s so encouraging to get you to write on a daily basis!
What I have noticed is that the more you do it the more confidence you will build and when you least expected you will be looking back on this post with gratitude for yourself that you started.
For days that you may feel a little discouraged to write read a little book and very inspiring “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.
Thank you so much Debbie! Your words are so kind and sweet! And I really appreciate the link to this book. I’m going to bookmark it now so I can read it on a day when I feel like just staying in bed.
See you in the blog challenge. And Thank you! ~ Loralee
I feel for you thinking this way. Someone very close to me spent years saying I wasn’t smart enough for him to talk with. That I couldn’t keep up intellectually and at the time he was right. I’d let him affect my self confidence so negatively I couldn’t think ‘straight.’ BUT now I know he was wrong on so many levels and I’m so grateful to be slowly rebuilding my life.
I know how intelligent and quick you are. I know you can and have achieved so much. I also know that you are the only person who will ever decide and believe you are worthy. Do it! Life is so much happier! Prove that negative voice wrong every day and live life large.
Best wishes for 2013!
Ouch! That hurts, doesn’t it Caylie. I’m so grateful that you’re taking the time to rebuild. We need your genius in the world… Love your work! And I’m going to do what you say. “Prove that negative voice wrong!” Thank you!
This is a beautiful, honest post, Loralee. You’re not alone in struggling with those insecurities. So many of us feel inadequate to do the very thing we’re drawn/driven to do. The insecurity and doubt is a gift – if we can keep it from keeping us hidden and instead allow it to push us to our personal best.
As Hemingway said… “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Have you read “You Are a Writer” by Jeff Goins? I think it’d be perfect for where you’re at. Just keep a box of tissues handy. http://youareawriter.com/
Thank you so much Michelle! I’m going to add this to my reading list for sure.
What a strange world I’m leaping into… A big piece of me wants to continue just writing help tutorials 🙂 But I’m going to find a happy blend that suits me this year. Feels good!