Why Starting Before You’re “Ready” Is The Secret To Success

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Taking action before you’re ready is like the magic elixir for success. It trains you to realise that nobody ever feels ‘ready’. No one successful, who you look up to or admire, ever reached a point where they said, “Ok…Ok, now I’m ready, I’ll do the thing!” Hell no. 

They had an idea, a lot of determination to see it through, and they took a leap of faith. They acted on their confidence and belief it would work out, rather than waiting for a moment where it felt “easy”, or “comfortable” and like they were “ready” to let it all fall into place. 

When you start out doing something new it is scary. It’s daunting. You might have the fear of failure rolling about in your head. But then so did everyone who ever started something. You have to be willing to feel scared; scared it won’t work out, or fear that you’ll embarrass yourself. If you’re not scared or nervous about diving into something, then you don’t care enough about it. Taking chances should feel exhilarating and a little frightening. 

You will never reach great heights if you don’t first climb the mountain, fraught with the chance of stumbling or losing your footing along the way.

I love the saying “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” I clung to this during times of my life where I was terrified of the risks, and leaps of faith I was taking. I felt reassured because my dreams scared the shit out of me, so I knew I was challenging myself enough.

When you think about it, what are you even risking? That some strangers will judge you? Ok. That you’ll be embarrassed? Of what? Of trying something daring and ambitious? You’ll recover. The worst case scenario, when you actually think about it, write it down or say it out loud…usually isn’t that bad. 

You won’t die. So, you’re fine. It’s scary but it’s also fun and exciting and you owe it to yourself to go after things that gives you the heebies in a good way.

Life is scary. Putting yourself out there is scary. Admitting you want more for yourself or your career is scary, but it’s also thrilling. Once you take the leap you can see the big lofty dreams you thought were so out of your reach are actually pretty close, and with every step you take towards your true purpose and calling, the big dream comes into focus more and more. 

Mindful Journaling Changed My Life

For over a decade, I have felt like I was floundering. I’ve always been very sensitive (and pretty dramatic) and I’ve always worried because I didn’t have a solid career or life plan. I felt like I was aimlessly wandering through my life, and the thought of waking up 80 years old and feeling I’d wasted my life made me so anxious. 

I have always been hyperaware of how fleeting life is. I remember even as a child, I was scared of wasting time, and not living fully. We lost my dear Uncle Fergie during my teens, very suddenly, and I think this unexpected loss made me realise how unpredictable life is. 

As a result, I’ve always felt motivated to live my life fully. I have always wanted to take big risks, live adventurously, and go after exciting things I wanted in my life. 

This obsession with living a great life, and not wasting it, is part of what made me so anxious. I clung to this fear of wasting time so aggressively, that I let myself believe because I didn’t have a concrete plan, I was somehow going to get lost along the way and coast through my life.

This week, while journaling with the awesome Liz White’s Transformational Journaling Masterclass, I had the realisation that I’ve let anxiety and doubt completely cloud my vision. I hadn’t even noticed I have already been living my life the exact way I want to. 

I have made every major life decision based on how I wanted to feel. I took a degree based on my passion for literature and writing, and how alive I felt immersed in fictional worlds and beautiful poems. 

I moved to France for no other reason than I had always wanted to live in Paris. I didn’t worry about post-graduate studying or my career, and I simply moved to a country I had spent years dreaming of. 

When I chose to move to Canada, it was on a whim. While I adored Paris, I was feeling heavy and worn down by the city. I was craving silence and wide open spaces and clean air, but moving to Canada terrified me. I was heartbroken to be leaving, I was so torn. Paris set my soul on fire, and I remember so vividly thinking; “Why the hell am I leaving?’ I had no idea what was driving me to leave Paris and I wished my heart was calling me to stay there, instead of move across the world.

But my god, my heart and soul knew exactly what it was doing. I was guided by my intuition, the Universe, whatever you believe in; I was guided to Canada. I met Ben within a month. We were living together within 3, we were in love within 4, and were pregnant within 7 months of knowing each other. 

It was a crazy whirlwind, and scary, and exhilarating, and so perfect I couldn’t have dreamt it up any better.

We decided to embark on a life together as parents, after only 7 months of knowing each other. We loved each other so fiercely, and despite the fact we were taking such an incredible leap of faith in each other, I never felt more certain, calm and sure of anything in my life. 

Willow is the absolute light of my life. I could never, never have believed how deeply and completely I could love. My life is so complete with her and Ben. The decision to have a child, as a terrified unexpectedly pregnant 24year old, was based purely on how I felt. It made no sense to be having a child when I was in such an uncertain and transitory period of my life. It made no sense to have a child with someone I barely knew, in a country where I held a temporary visa and had never envisioned raising children or making my home permanently. 

Yet, I knew it was right for me. 

Unknowingly, I have been living my life so deeply connected to my soul, and my heart, and my intuition, but I let the voice of fear shout so loudly I missed the beauty and perfectly aligned nature of my life. 

I have spent years of my life berating myself for not knowing what career I wanted, for not knowing what I wanted to do. I had this deep yearning to do something, but I always felt as though I couldn’t quite see through the haze of uncertainty. I couldn’t fully see, feel and know what i wanted. 

But shit, I was doing it all along. I was picking a degree that excited me, I was moving to foreign cities that lit my soul on fire, I was diving into motherhood and a beautiful loving relationship; I was listening to my heart and soul every step of the way. 

I have doubted myself my whole life, I have doubted my worth, and my path, and I have spent so much time living in fear and doubt. But despite this I have continued to listen to my intuition and make my decisions based on love. 

I have loved myself my whole life, and I didn’t even realise. I continued to love myself even when fear told me I was unloveable. My sub conscious is so deeply rooted in love, that even the loudest and most scared fearful voice couldn’t shake my core foundation of love.

I feel like I’ve suddenly seen myself for the first time. I have already been living my life so aligned with what I want to feel. I have put my sense of adventure and desire to enjoy myself at the forefront of everything I’ve ever done. My worries and fears have simply been stories I’ve told myself. My soul has always known what I needed, and where I had to go.

This realisation makes me feel so empowered. It’s like I’ve completely removed all fear of failure from my life. I’ve already thrown myself into several situations that could have failed spectacularly. But every single time, I’ve found something more wonderful than I could have imagined. 

I don’t need to worry about what the future holds, or how I’m going to achieve everything I want to. Because I know that whatever feels good to go into, will turn out beautifully. 

“Leaning into uncertainty is my superpower” rings true. I make exceptionally wonderful life choices when I listen to how I feel, and make scary wonderful choices.

I can’t recommend Liz’s masterclass enough (and yes, that’s my gushing instagram message on her landing page). I used her prompts, and recommendation of mediating before hand (her free guided meditation can be found here) , and within half a page of writing all the above came tumbling out. My heart was racing, I was shaking, and crying. I was blown away to realise I’ve always loved myself, and I’ve always known what to do. I spent years putting myself down, but under it all I was still loving myself completely and building a beautiful life. 

Taking time to quieten your mind, and explore what’s going on is so powerful. I’d never journaled after meditation, or with the techniques Liz sets out. I only had to scratch the surface, and suddenly I could see everything more clearly. 

So I challenge you to take some time out, find a quiet spot, spend 5 minutes breathing deeply or using a guided meditation, before pouring your thoughts onto paper. You might be surprised at what comes up when you give your mind the room to stretch itself. 

Pushing Through Creative Doubt

Blogging is something I always return to. When thinking of what career I would like, what business I want to build, what I could start right now, without any further training or education…it’s blogging. 

It’s been this way for five years or so. I’ve probably started around three or four blogs. And when I say started, I mean get all excited, set it up, publish two posts, then shrivel up with fear and delete it after six months of inaction. 

This blog, Roseanne Writes is the longest any of my blogging efforts have lasted. It’s been almost one year since I purchased the domain name, and started posting. 

While I didn’t completely shrivel up with fear and delete everything, I did retreat somewhat, go two months at a time without posting, doubt myself, consider deleting, and berate myself for once again running away. 

But while I doubted the content of the other blogs I tried to start, I have never doubted that I am passionate about writing on motherhood and vegan topics. They are two areas I am experienced in, intensely passionate about, would love to share, and help other people with. 

Where I trip up is my own confidence and self-esteem. My little fearful voice would say I wasn’t an expert, I didn’t know what I was doing myself, so how could I possibly help others? I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t creative enough. It wouldn’t work and I was just setting myself up for disappointment. These are nothing but sneaky little lies my subconscious tells myself when doubt starts to creep in. 

My self care and mental health has definitely taken a hit since I became a mother. But now, more than ever, I need to look after myself, be kind to myself, and build myself up. I have to respect my desire to write, and carve out time for myself. 

I realise as more time passes - my blog sits inactive, I continue to day dream of working for myself, being in control of my own time, being there for my daughter more - that the fear of it not working out will never disappear. 

There will always be doubt, and worry, but it’s how I let this affect me that matters. I can let it eat me alive, push me into writers block and feeling inadequate, or, I can hear my fears, quietly assure myself I am capable and creative and passionate, and trust that my constant desire to write is driving me somewhere important. 

Empowering Mothers; Why You Never Lost Your Body

There is no shortage of inappropriate comments pregnant women and new mothers hear. My personal favourite is the good ol’ having “lost your body” to pregnancy, your baby, or motherhood. 

We don’t celebrate women’s bodies enough, in any context, but especially in pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. We are our strongest while growing, birthing, and sustaining life. 

So why don’t we talk about it? Why do we diminish the absolute beauty and magic of women’s bodies in their most raw and powerful form? 

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The idea that my body is no longer my own is nonsense. It’s been stretched, and it’s been through a lot, but it is still my body. 

I struggled internally for weeks over sharing the above photo or not. I felt self-conscious, I wondered what people would think. But part of changing the way mother's bodies are treated and thought of, is sharing real and raw pictures. In my desire to empower other women to love and respect their own postpartum bodies, I have to do so myself. 

I am lucky enough to have carried a healthy child to full term, had a uncomplicated, unmedicated, enjoyable birth and breastfed my baby (12+ months going strong). I am grateful, and proud of what my body has accomplished. I have never owned my body more. My body has never been stronger, or done more for me.

That being said, I definitely struggled with my self esteem and sense of self once Willow was born, like a lot of mothers do. I didn’t recognise the soft lumpy body which had replaced my slim, pre-baby figure. As someone who has always preached self love and acceptance, I was ashamed to feel defined by my body. I felt lacking somehow because I didn’t have what was classed as a “good” body anymore. I was angry with myself for feeling that way, on top of everything else. 

Baby life is difficult and the last thing new mums need is to feel like they’re spent or ruined in any way.

The narrative needs to change. Mothers should not be told they have lost their bodies. They should be told they are powerful and strong and remarkable, and that they are owning their bodies now more than ever.

Yes, pregnancy and motherhood take a lot out of you, but instead of looking at these changes in your life and your body as negative or as sacrifices, I think we should look at them as temporary compromises. 

It would do wonderful things for the mental health of new mothers, if the crazy changes your body goes through were viewed as temporary, and not thought of as offering up your old body at the altar of motherhood. 

Because bodies recover. Perhaps your recovery looks a bit different from your pre-baby bod, but that’s ok. Achieving something as powerful and impressive as pregnancy and birth will leave it’s beautiful marks on your body. 

Instead of berating yourself, imagine how it would feel to cherish and appreciate the marks and softness of your remarkable body.

 

Learn to Love Your PostPartum Body

There have been many things about motherhood I thought I was prepared for. A biggie was accepting my body would look different after having a baby.

The reality was I struggled to love myself and my body after Willow arrived. Instead of feeling overcome with gratitude for the miraculous feat my body had achieved, I felt let down. 

The first three months were so difficult; physically, mentally, emotionally. I questioned if I could even do it. 

I naively thought “I’d have my body back” once Willow was born. I didn’t consider my weight might not budge. I didn’t think breastfeeding would be difficult. I didn’t think I’d feel so down. I didn’t think the sleep deprivation would be so painfully severe. 

I’ve always believed, and practised, loving your body whether it meets society’s impossible standards or not. It was easy to accept my “flaws” pre-baby, because I was nit-picking. I loved my body, really. I was slim, fit, able to shop where I liked and find flattering clothes; it wasn’t hard to feel good about my body.

But postpartum, it’s been a different story. I gained over 50 pounds while pregnant, which is more than I was “supposed to”. Cue guilt for putting on too much weight.

I’d never been overweight in my life, and I wasn’t used to the heaviness I felt. I felt separate from my body. This lumpy, slow, heavy, sore, stretched body wasn’t mine. When I was one month, then two months postpartum I kept waiting to lose more weight. I was breastfeeding, and had clung to the hope of the weight melting off me, as so many people told me it would.

I felt let down I wasn’t losing weight faster. I was frustrated I couldn’t move like I had before pregnancy. I was upset because nothing felt the same. 

My body expectations postpartum were driven by wanting my body to be unchanged after birth. But I am changed, so why shouldn't my body be too? Motherhood is the most insane, mind boggling, overnight transformation and it took me a while to get on board. 

The pressure I felt to be slim again was bizarre. I knew there was nothing wrong with being heavier after having a baby. I knew there was nothing wrong with being heavier without having had a baby- but the feelings of shame were unbearable.

Our society categorises people based on their bodies. On their skin colour, on their genitals, on their shape, on their weight, on their wholeness. My category had changed, and it upset me far more than I thought it would. 

On top of my guilt for putting on “too much” weight, I felt guilty that this made me feel guilty! I felt vain, and selfish. I had an incredibly empowering, quick, enjoyable, un-medicated birth and I know how lucky I was to have that experience.

Even after birth, the most raw, challenging, emotional and physical achievement I have to date, I allowed myself to feel I wasn’t enough.

The engrained social norm of “losing the baby weight” is one which had stuck with me, unfortunately. I’m all for losing my excess weight and being more active again, but while doing so I shouldn’t feel ashamed of how I am now. 

It’s been difficult, but I’m finally in a place where I’m working everyday to love this body. To accept this body is my body, and not some tattered leftover from pregnancy.

It’s different, but how could it have stayed the same? It swelled to accommodate and grow my darling daughter. It loosened my ligaments to help me in birth, it shifted my pelvis to help her wriggle out, it gained weight so I’d have the energy to feed her. 

This unexpected, unfamiliar postpartum body of mine has worked magic, and I should worship it accordingly.

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How have you felt about your postpartum body? What are your ideas for embracing the change or loving yourself more? Please pop a comment below or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you! ❤️