Happy new year! ✨
Hello there, lovely being,
If you got this in your inbox that means you’ve subscribed to me and that this is my actual very first newsletter(!!). First times always feel a bit intimidating, because what if this is not what I want it to be, what if this is not gonna work out? What if you, dear reader, don’t even like what I have to say?!
Last week I felt overwhelmed by a fear of writing this newsletter. Literally thinking: “What am I doing? Is this seriously a good idea?” I’m familiar with these thoughts and I can say that I have them under control, usually. Because I’ve gotten a lot better at recognizing irrational fear. But this felt real. Real real. As in I wanted to abandon this ‘stupid’ idea because why would I write? I’m not a writer. So why would anyone want to read this?
When I shared these fears with my partner I got some pretty good advice: it doesn’t matter who reads it and whether they will like it or not. Even if it’s only one person it means you get to practice writing.
And then all of a sudden it made sense to me again. That’s right, I get to practice. Things don’t have to be at high stakes. We don’t have to take things that seriously. We don’t have to have hundreds of people reading or liking or seeing what we do. We can simply just make what we want to make. Explore, practice, and find out what we like and what we don’t like. It’s exactly in those moments that we get to have fun.
I hope you are in for this ride with me, I’m definitely glad to have you on board! And if not, well, in that case, it could either mean we’re not a good match (yay for the unsubscribe button) or that I’ll have to tweak my writing skills a little. But that’s okay, it’s a work in progress!
So that’s the theme of my first newsletter; new things, first times, and trying things out. Maybe ending up liking what we’re doing or maybe not at all. Because after all, we’ve reached a brand new year. New possibilities. Exciting. Also, no pressure. 😌
How I came to ruin my drawer
Up until a few years ago, I used to put immense pressure on new things, on goals, and on literally everything I wanted to do. I could either succeed or fail, and there was no in-between. The thing was, that was no fun for me, and probably also not very fun for the people around me.
At that time I had no clue that there was actually something in between failing or succeeding. It was either good or bad, fun or shitty, a failure or a success, I would love it or absolutely hate it. It was always extremes and never middle ground, in other words, intense and completely exhausting! I rarely enjoyed anything because it was always at high stakes.
Feels relatable? If the answer is, yes, then know you’re not the only one. And although it definitely takes time, I am now living proof that not taking everything so seriously is something you can learn. You can learn to have more fun, make your life feel like a playground again, and not be so scared of failing at everything you do.
The first time I learned that things would be okay even if they were not perfect was when my therapist asked me to ruin something I was working on, on purpose. Even the thought of that gave me anxiety, it would mean failure, and failure was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I could feel my hands starting to get sweaty at the thought of it. To me failing at something meant I failed as a person. It was not a place I could return from. But I did as she suggested, I ruined a paint job I was doing while repainting a drawer. After carefully putting a layer of paint on the whole thing I put my full hand onto the still-wet surface leaving a huge mark of my hand.
It’s still there to this day.
Initially, the feeling of having ruined something terrified me, but the more days passed, the more I had a look at it, the more it didn’t seem to matter anymore. I slowly learned that ruining something didn’t mean failure, it didn’t mean I failed as a person. I was still me, and I could try things out, fail, do something again, fail again. It wasn’t a life or death thing; I would be completely fine, I wasn’t in actual danger. 🧐
After that assignment from my therapist, I slowly started to learn that making mistakes was completely fine. I started to take things on faster, not being so afraid that I would fail, if I did it wouldn’t mean the end of the world.
I became better at recognizing my fear of failing. And every time it would come to the surface I'd ask myself. “Does this really need to be perfect or do I just need to get it done?” Usually, it was the latter, because by simply getting things done, we learn much faster.
Goals as a guide for first (scary) steps
So that brings us back to January, the new year, the new month, new things, and quite possibly new goals. I don’t do resolutions, but I do like to set goals because goals are nice striving points. One of the goals I’ve set for myself is to bring out a consistent newsletter this year.
However, these goals are not mandatory, I try not to see it as failing when I don't meet them. Instead, I like to see goals as a guide. Whenever I find myself losing track or being unsure of what I’m doing I go back to my goals (I keep these in Notion) and check if what I’m doing is still moving me closer to what I want to accomplish. Not in a way of: I have to or else. But rather: I could, because.
If you’re also setting goals or resolutions this year then maybe try to look at them as your guides. What are the steps you need to take to get there? That first step is already magical. However small it might be. In fact, it’s usually in the small things that the magic happens. And once you’re on your journey it’s okay to find out along the way that maybe you need to adjust your goal. Or maybe you’ll actually reach it sooner than you expected to. Maybe you realize that this goal is not realistic or that it at some point simply doesn’t fit you anymore. It’s okay to revise them, discard them, or reach them. There’s no right or wrong way to do goals. Things are not that serious. If you’ve beaten yourself up in the past and are still doing so because you can’t seem to reach things, then stop. Be a little nicer to yourself. Maybe you’re making things harder than they have to be, try to make things smaller, what’s the smallest thing you can do right now? Things don’t have to be big. Pressure is often a bad motivator because there’s no fun in having a voice in your mind who’s constantly putting you down.
As I’m writing this I realize the same goes for this newsletter. It’s my first one, so did I overthink working on this, posting this, thinking it’s not good enough, not clear enough, and felt I should revise it maybe a 1000 times? Absolutely. Should I be doing that? No, absolutely not. This newsletter might not be perfect, but it’s the first one, and getting it out there is more important than it being the best. The mere fact that this is in your inbox right now is what counts.
That means the first scary step has been taken!
It’s that first scary step that’s gonna put things in motion. Not the goal. The goal is there to cheer for you, yes reach for me, try to get here. Try to see it as an actual road trip. You know you want to reach your destination but along the ride you might want to stop here and there. You might make a whole detour becoming a richer person along the way. Maybe you’ll realize your destination doesn’t fit you anymore along the way. Let it go. And if you do reach it, then you had a hell of a journey beforehand and the bestest of memories. Enjoy them. 💜
So go out and do the things you want to do, whether they’re big or small. Yes, it’s scary sometimes, and yes that’s okay. You’re allowed to try things out and have fun in 2023! ✨
I hope you enjoyed the read and I’ll see you in the next one!