Transpersonal Growth

Building Our Wings: Beating Self-Criticism, and Taking Steps to Live Your Life

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Despite having finally gotten a clear idea in my head what I was going to be blogging about, and what this blog would be all about, I’ve been stalling. I’d been fiddling about with themes and feature images, pondering over the tone that I want to write my articles in, how informative-vs-personal they would be… all detracting me from what it was I set out to do.

I’ve hit this issue before in my blogging experience, and it translates in to the wider arena of life for myself and many of us I’m sure. There are plenty times when we know exactly what it is we set out to do, but instead we flirt around it by dealing with little superfluous issues. Like, I’ve got all these dishes to do, but this one mug has a stain on it that I can’t get off and now oh look at the time! Got to run! I remember having to write a CV and spending so long adjusting the formatting that I missed the deadline of the job application… you get the idea.

We tend to know deep down (or sometimes pretty blatantly) what we ought to be doing, but whether we set to it is often a whole other story. What really helps in these instances is asking ourselves why we are stalling; often just gaining an understanding here will help you overcome whatever it is. For me, as I write this, I’m becoming more and more aware of just why it is I haven’t been writing for this blog. See, I have been writing, but for my other blog. I use that one as a sort of journal and there’s no real structure, writing about whatever happens in to my head. As well, I take it less seriously, it’s my casual blog. This means I can just put whatever on it, a who cares who sees it, who cares who reads it sort of thing.

With this blog, or rather with the site as a whole, I’m a lot more invested. I’ve been putting off publishing posts until they’re perfect (whatever that means). I have big plans for this site, and it ties quite heavily in to my own journey of growth and development. So in a way, giving this site the dedication and attention it deserves means leveling-up the attention and time I put in to the inner- and outer-work of my own life.

I can hardly talk about all this development and growth when I’m slacking, can I? I feel like a bit of a hypocrite at times – who am I to help other people on this adventure when some days I can’t even get out of bed before lunch time? How can I help people deal with deep emotional crises, or the existential dread that’s bound to surface at some point on this introspective quest?

Well, that’s just it. I’m still living all of this in many ways, I’m still learning, so maybe I’m in a better position than I give myself credit to be writing about all of this stuff. I haven’t mastered it all, I’m no guru; hell, I had 3 naps today. What this is all tugging on is that idea that to follow through on our passions, to live our greatest vision, we must have it all sussed out. We need to know every step from A-Z before we dare set off. In the mean time, we self-criticize, downplay our ideas, and hold ourselves back. Well, how about putting an end to that?

“Jump off the cliff and learn how to make wings on the way down”

 – Ray Bradbury

See, there would really be no point in setting out on a journey once we knew every conceivable outcome and event that would transpire along the way – what fun would that be? As Alan Watts puts it, like in a game of chess, once the outcome becomes known, there’s no point in playing – it removes the player from the game. Now, I’m not saying to set out flying a plane before you know any of the controls… like any true adventure, preparation is half the battle, but only half. There are always going to be unknown and unknowable steps that you will take as you wander through life.

These might be unknowns about the path ahead, or about yourself, but they’re a part of it all nonetheless. Waiting until we’re perfect, and have the whole game plan down in our head, will have us waiting until it’s too late to do anything. Stop looking for ways to pull yourself back, and instead learn to accept things as they are, then taking the steps to wherever you want to be next. You don’t even need to have a destination in mind, and in fact any one you do have is really just a guess – so stay open.

When you play a game, the point is to play, not to finish; when you dance, it isn’t a race across the finish line – so why treat life any differently? If you’re feeling stuck right now, or like you’re going in circles, take action – grab a pen and start writing! Just from writing this post, I’ve gained a little more clarity and a little more confidence about taking all this forward. You can always come join the Facebook group too, and discuss your roadblocks with fellow travelers – I hope to see you there!

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