That’s how the story of how I discovered the person who would become one of my biggest life inspirations begins. This person would go on to help influence the words I wrote, the person I’ve become and the things that I chose to do.
At 17 I liked to think that I was someone who didn’t fall for marketing ploys. I liked to think that I was a girl unswayed by the things that surrounded me.
Mostly because marketing sometimes seemed like you were being tricked into wanting or buying things by people who wanted your money, like a sort of elaborate scam.
I wanted to believe that I was above that sort of thing but I can now admit that the perception I held of myself wasn’t true.
I was wrong.
Wrong because I felt myself pulled to pick up a book called ‘Free Prize Inside’. Turns out there was no actual free prize inside the book but it did change my life which is even better.
I could probably write a book on things I’ve learnt from Seth Godin.
Seth taught me that maybe this fear is something I can work with instead of work for. As in, I can do everything I want to do and still have fear, instead letting the fear dictate what I do (which always ends up with me not doing what I actually want to do).
Learning to dance with fear is often uncomfortable (because it’s new) but it’s taught me valuable lessons about moving through life.
The best place to start is somewhere small because it’s like a form of immersion therapy. Imagine if you’re learning to swim, diving in at the deep end with no arm bands is probably a silly idea. You might end up panicking, swallowing water and needing to be rescued.
If that happens you’re unlikely to dust yourself off and try again. You almost died, it’s too dangerous, how could you even think it was a good idea. And your body will do it’s thing in letting you know it was dangerous and that you need to protect yourself. At that point even the shallow end will seem too risky.
But if you start at the shallow end and do the smallest uncomfortable thing that doesn’t feel too risky you might be willing to do something slightly bigger bit by bit overtime.
And then eventually diving in at the deep end won’t seem so risky. Because you’ve done everything else before that and it’s turned out okay. You’ll be at a point where you know what to do if you feel overwhelmed and even if you need a little help or support it you won’t feel like a failure.
Then once you’re out the deep end you’ll be okay to go back in again.
Turns out it wasn’t so scary after all.
In the process of making a difficult decision I turned to the words of Seth Godin for guidance. I found a few useful posts on sunk costs and it made me realise one of the things I needed to stop considering.
When making plans for the future if you do it based on past experiences that didn’t go to plan it taints your mind.
Decisions based on the past are too often made from a place of fear or include factors that have no bearing on the future unless you let them.
I think it’s useful to start by wiping your slate clean. Start with where you’re at right now and weigh up the pros and cons of both choices. And consider what you want and what your personal plans are not just what looks good on the outside.
It was either Seth Godin or Simon Sinek that once said that you shouldn’t seek reassurance because it’s something you can never have enough of.
I don’t think I fully understood the statement until I observed it in others and in myself.
Reassurance creates a temporary fence of stability that lets you know things are fine but it doesn’t last. It’s like a cloud of smoke that will eventually disperse until there’s nothing left and then you just end up back where you started, seeking reassurance once more.
And so instead of seeking reassurance,
Why not practise being adaptable, embracing uncertainty and getting out of your comfort zone?
Having a daily writing practice means that writers block isn’t an excuse I can use.
There are days when writing feels a little more rigid and I suppose I feel ‘blocked’ but I don’t feed it because whether I feel in-flow or totally out of flow I still have to write and share something.
I think one of the easiest ways to loosen up and allow the words to flow is to write and it’s ironic because we’d usually do the opposite.
Perhaps the first 100 or even 500 words might be what you think of as rubbish but once you get past that you get to the good stuff. All of sudden you’re scoffing at that supposed ‘writers block’ knowing that you should have listened to Seth when he said:
Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.
Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.
Seths Blog: Talkers Block
I went on to Facebook and saw a post from Seth Godin. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll have seen my many references to and mentions of Seth Godin.
People like you and people like me
What would Seth Godin say?
Less Seth, More me
Telling stories and being heard
Godin, writers block and the inner monologue
Anyway the post on Facebook said that Seth is back on Instagram (his last post was a few years ago).
So of course I went straight from Facebook to Instagram and clicked follow.
It’s a small and perhaps insignificant thing to some yet it brought joy to my day. Seth is someone who I’ve learnt a lot from and for those that don’t know, he’s the reason I started this blog.
If any of you are interested follow Seth Godin @sethgodin on Instagram.