Last weekend, as part of the ongoing process of culling my possessions, I decided to tackle all my knitting paraphernalia. I wanted to keep a lot of it, but I knew there were also about a squillion half-balls of yarn that I was never going to use. Additionally, it was in two rooms in a variety of tubs and baskets with no discernible order. Even if I wanted to knit something it would have been quicker to buy new needles than to sort through all the mess to find the right ones. (Which, now that I think about it, may be why I have so many pairs of needles.) So I gathered up the various baskets and containers, brought them all into the lounge room and emptied the lot onto the floor.
Then, in my usual task-focused fashion, I said, “Ooh, look! Crochet hooks and a ‘how to crochet’ book!” Aaand… that was me done for the rest of the evening.
When I was telling my counsellor about this a few days later, she asked me, “What was your self-talk like as you were teaching yourself to crochet?” It’s a fair question – I have a history of believing I can’t do things; in fact of believing that I am generally pretty useless. I thought about it and said, “I don’t think there was any self-talk at all. I just assumed I’d be able to do it if I followed the instructions.” After chatting about it some more I concluded that I felt confident in learning to crochet because I already know how to knit, and the two skills aren’t miles apart. But it got me thinking…
What if everything I tried was like that?
What if I approached things believing I could do them? Or at least believing that I have a good chance of success?
What if my default position were not “I am a failure”? Or even “I will probably fail”?
What would my life be like if there were no negative self-talk at all? What would it be like if I just tried things? What if I gave things a go without even thinking about whether I might succeed or fail?
What if I believed that I’m worthwhile? That I’m allowed to try new things?
What if I believed that it’s okay to fail?
What if I believed… in me?