Are You Holding Yourself Back? #SelfCare

Are you holding backWhen we’re in our tweens, we long to reach our teens. When we finally arrive at that sweet sixteen landmark, we long for adulthood.
As adults, many of us aren’t prepared for the mess of responsibilities, or indeed, the real-life influences that can suck out our creative soul. Time goes by, and our lives can feel a little bit out of control. That electricity bill needs to be paid, the sales meeting must be attended, and the car has to be insured, but when do we make time for the dreams and aspirations we had growing up?
As an eight-year-old, I had clear ideas of becoming an author, but it wasn’t until I reached the ripe old age of forty-two that I got around to doing something about it. For thirty-four years I’d held myself back in a variety of ways. Throughout my twenties, and thirties I often woke in the middle of the night dreaming about characters, and plot twists, but I used the excuse of an unhappy marriage, subsequent divorce, and being a single mum as a way of telling myself I didn’t have time to write.
I allowed my limiting beliefs to control my actions. ‘I’m not good enough,’ and ‘people will think I’m stupid,’ were constant thought patterns. I’d built these walls around myself, and it took many years before I realised they were preventing me from achieving my writing dreams.
In the film, The Holiday with Kate Winslet, there is a poignant moment between Kate’s character, Iris, and the adorable neighbour and screenwriting legend, Arthur (played by Eli Wallach).
Kate Winslet

Arthur “In the movies, we have the leading ladies, and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”
Iris “You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life for God sake. Arthur, I’ve been going to a therapist for three years, and she’s never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant, brutal, but brilliant.”

I find this clip to be a wonderful reminder that by holding myself back, I’m not the leading lady in my life. When I did finally focus on my creativity and balance my dreams with all that real life stuff, I found the time to write, I discovered a passion for sharing my story, and I even built a thicker skin to deal with feedback. The belief that I’m not good enough still rumbles around my brain, but I’ve made an active choice to stop holding myself back and to embrace everything life has to offer.
Think about your own life for a moment. Are you holding yourself back from fulfilling a dream? Can you find a compromise or balance? Perhaps you’ve already made a few changes and can share your wisdom. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to drop me a comment below.
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  1. I doubt I have any wisdom to share, but I have decided I’m going to publish a book too. For years I was surrounded by people who believed (or acted as if they believed) that devoting every minute to the job was the only acceptable choice. I’ve decided not to do that, which has its cost, but I love the creativity of creating worlds and people to inhabit them, and setting them loose to see what they do. There’s more to life than work – there’s writing!

  2. Thanks Shelley….we can think we aren’t holding ourselves back too, I have that same feeling of not being good enough but I have thought sometimes I have gotten past it but even just reading this made me re evaluate that belief and given me a little flash of insight…very helpful actually 🙂

    1. Ha ha! Yes…..I get you on that one Douglas. Some days I wonder who the hell just decided that I need this crap right now? ????
      The first guy I fell in love with was called Douglas…..he didn’t know though. I was only 14. Bless my long gone innocence!
      But that’s another story!

  3. Shelley you never cease to motivate me. I decided a long time ago that I was the boss of my own life.
    But the confidence in my writing has been a little bit of a struggle.
    When I first decided to just “go for it”, I started researching on the internet about writing a book. I came across you and I’ve been stalking you ever since. ???????? I don’t always comment, I don’t always read immediately, sometimes I save in ‘pocket’ to read later. But I believe that the posts I do get back to are the ones that are meant for me.
    Ali (A Woman’s Wisdom) was also really good to me when I started blogging.
    (It’s a full time job this blogging malarky)
    Thank you ????

    1. Aww, what a lovely message, Gloria. Thank you so much. Ali was an inspiration to me too and I still miss her. We all blog (and write) from the heart and hope that our random musings are useful to someone. It’s a wonderful feeling to think we are helping someone cope with life in one way or another. I’m the same as you when it comes to sharing and interacting. It’s so overwhelming at times isn’t it! Thanks again for stalking me haha, it’s an honour to have you in my blog-o-sphere xx

  4. Agreed, it is all too easy to make excuses & put your own dreams on a back burner as an adult, especially when you have a family. But no one benefits if you don’t take care of yourself & are miserable. You have to fill your own cup of self worth in order to be the best version of yourself that you can be & it is a constant thing, not something you do only once.

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