Last week, I had a severe case of writer’s block. Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.
I sat down to write this weekly email so many times and had absolutely nothing to say.
I called it writer’s block because that felt legitimate. It meant I was a serious writer, plagued with this “official” and “inconvenient” curse of not being able to produce the words when I needed something to write.
So, I let myself off the hook and said – “Just don’t send it. You have nothing to say this week.”
And, so I quit.
And it felt like such a relief.
And I tried again the next day and the day after that, with the same result.
So, I kept quitting and I kept feeling relieved when I let myself off the hook.
I justified my writer’s block as the week went on with these thoughts.
You have so many things on your plate right now, it makes perfect sense that you don’t know what to write
You work so hard, it’s ok to skip a week
Give yourself this break and you will be full of ideas next week
Everyone else is so busy too
No one reads it anyway
No one will notice that it wasn’t in their inbox this week
But here is what is interesting – I noticed.
All week – I noticed that I had not done something that I had done every Tuesday for 18 months.
I thought about it all week.
And it bothered me.
And it really distracted me.
The quitting didn’t actually bring me any lasting relief. The quitting that felt good in the moment, left me with this heavy feeling of remorse and disappointment instead.
Here is what I also noticed.
Not sending out the weekly email on Tuesday wasn’t for the reason that I wanted it to be.
It wasn’t writer’s block.
I knew that because I had written plenty of draft versions that were waiting for me in my folder and I could have hit send on any one of them.
Here’s what really happened and why I didn’t publish anything last week.
Sometime early last week, I allowed my ego to start making important decisions for me.
And my ego operates from a place of fear.
And my ego is a harsh and judgmental critic.
And my ego wants to keep me safe and comfortable.
I also refer to my ego as my “old brain” – the un-evolved part of my brain that wants to seek comfort, security and not take any risks. This old brain wants my life to be easy.
This is why quitting felt so good. My ego was protecting me from feeling embarrassed or not good enough or judged by others who would read what I wrote.
And why justifying the quitting and calling it writer’s block felt safe and protected me from experiencing any that discomfort.
But I know better.
I do not get the results that I want in my life when I let my ego make the decisions. Period.
Because my ego will always be working to keep me safe, comfortable – expending minimal effort – basically not growing or evolving.
I have to overcome my “old brain” (ego) to grow, to take risks and to challenge myself. I have to be willing to be uncomfortable in pursuit of moving my life forward. Otherwise, I will always stay in exactly the same place.
So when I look back at last week, I am fascinated by how quickly my ego got the better of me.
And I let it.
There was definitely a part of me that felt unsure and tentative in my writing last week.
And that became the perfect moment for my ego to show up and begin to fill my thoughts with doubt, uncertainty, fear, and worry. I bought into those thoughts 100%. I justified the thoughts and then gave myself permission to quit. Fascinating.
As you head into this week – think about where you might be letting your ego make the decisions for you. And how do you feel about that? Can you be curious about where you might want to push through the self-doubt and fear anyway and overcome your ego, for your benefit?
Remember that your ego is trying to keep you safe and protected, which probably also means not putting yourself out there or doing something uncomfortable. How can you overcome your “old brain” in pursuit of something that matters to you? And most importantly, what can you learn about yourself in the process?
If you prefer, we can do this work together – because I know that two minds are better than one. Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session to see how to overcome a desire to quit in pursuit of relief. Let’s take 30 minutes to talk about it. Book your session today!