Back To The Drawing Board: 5 Pieces Of Advice For When You Have To Start Again

rip it up and start againI’ve changed my mind again.

I’m in the process of switching all of my blog content back to THIS site, Only Teethin’, rather than spreading content across two sites – one for parenting & life and one for business-building tips – which is how I’d set things up towards the end of last year.

It felt too messy, too disjointed, too much of a headache to keep up two blogs and so I’m now hoping to make the two subject areas work together.

It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. The world is still spinning. No-one’s lost money, or teeth, or dignity. (Much.)

Still, it’s frustrating.

Because I’d decided on one thing, did a load of work on my websites to implement my decision, then changed my mind again, then did a load more work. Repeat steps at least twice.

See? VERY FRUSTRATING.

However, before I start berating myself for my self-perceived ineptitude and indecisiveness, I’ve just had a quiet word in my own ear.

I realised that my to-ing and fro-ing over the websites represents my work mindset over the last six months or so.

I’ve known for a while that I wanted to focus more on writing and less on the PR work that has paid my bills for the last 17 years.

Yet I’ve found it hard to stick to that decision, to commit to it and be consistent in the things I do to work towards it.

It’s felt scary. And so – as the song goes – I’ve dillied and dallied, dallied and dillied.

(That song, by the way, is called My Old Man Said Follow The Van, and it was on a record that my Nanna had in the 80s featuring the cast of EastEnders performing classic Cockney singalongs – we won’t question why. I’d not thought of it until today, and it made me smile.)

see, I’m not making this stuff up

ANYWAY.

The point I’m trying to make with yet more dillying and dallying, is that my mis-steps and false starts are not that surprising when I consider that I’m attempting to move away – if not fully, then mostly – from ‘the work that has paid my bills for the last 17 years’, as I’ve just reminded myself.

I’m making a career switch, of sorts.

(Yes, there are lots of overlaps between PR and writing; I’ve done plenty of writing previously, but I’ve never made it my primary focus/source of income, which is what I’m looking at now.)

Therefore, I’m going to cut myself some slack.

And so, if you’re in a similar position at the moment, trying to start something new, or going back to something, or wanting the moon on a stick immediately, and getting frustrated at your self-perceived ineptitude and indecisiveness, your mis-steps and mistakes, I think you should cut yourself some slack too.

Here are five tips I’m currently living by:

 

  1. Keep on movin’.

As per a quote from writer and designer Jamie Varon that I included in my last work-related post:

“the ‘cure’ to self-doubt is ACTION.”

Any progress is still progress. Any work you do, any steps you take, anything you start and then screw up and chuck in the waste paper basket, metaphorically speaking, is better than sitting on your bottom doing nowt.

(And yes, I’m incapable of writing these posts without referring to song lyrics. Now I’m thinking of this song by 5ive and I wish I wasn’t.)

 

  1. Remember that it doesn’t really matter how many ‘attempts’ it takes….

Whatever you’re working towards, there is no limit to how long, or how often you can keep trying.

Obviously don’t bankrupt yourself. But assuming your goal is relatively low-cost and you have the time and the means to keep going, then keep going.

 

  1. …..because no-one’s watching

No-one really cares that much about what you’re up to. No-one (important) is watching how many times you change your mind / pants.

Do what you’ve got to do and don’t get distracted worrying about what other people think about you, because they’ve got their own fish to fry.

 

  1. But – conversely – act as if people ARE watching.

Yes, I’m contradicting myself. But if your thing, your goal, is about creating work for other people, then act as if those other people are already there. Even when they’re not.

Because one day they will be there, and don’t you want to be ready for them, with a nice cup of tea and a clean and tidy living room, rather than rushing about with the hoover two minutes before they’re due to turn up?

Yes, yes, you do.

 

  1. Try to enjoy the ‘journey’!

See my line above about the FRUSTRATING nature of starting something and rubbishing it and then starting it all over again.

But didn’t I enjoy at least some of the time spent going down one path, before deciding to take another? Actually, I did. So was it really that FRUSTRATING?

Maybe a little bit frustrating, at times, but not worthy of CAPS, nor of berating myself for it.

There’s that cheesy line about one day looking back and realising how far you’ve come, and that other, less cheesy, line about life being what happens when you’re busy making other plans. There’s truth in all of it.

So, the moral of the story: don’t be afraid to start. Or of deciding it’s ‘wrong’. Or of starting again.

Dillying and dallying is absolutely OK, as long as there’s action involved (and you don’t have to listen to a dodgy album by the EastEnders cast, or a song by 5ive, while doing it).

Bye for now x

 

BONUS PIECE OF ADVICE: I’ve written before about the Letters From a Hopeful Creative podcast which always gives great advice. I listened to an episode last night, after writing the post above, in which the hosts spoke about how there are no shortcuts when starting something new. You have to go through the messy stage. You cannot go from zero to fully-fledged success without the difficult bit in the middle. So – as I said at the start – let’s cut ourselves some slack, and try to enjoy the process x

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Hello, I'm Laura. I write about parenting, life, style, building a business and finding success on your own terms.

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