Posts tagged ‘progress’

February 14th, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Inadequate

by Madeleine Rex

In case you were unaware of this fact, it’s true.

Sometimes. Occasionally. Every now and then. You feel inadequate.

Goodness knows it’s natural. Ask your neighbor, your coworkers, heck – it’s likely your dog has felt inadequate at some point in time.

I have. She has. They have. We have.

And yet, with this mindbogglingly stressful weight of inadequacy on our shoulders – even worst: the possibility that you will somehow be proven insignificant, unremarkable, horrifically replaceable – we keep trying. We are beaten down by self-doubt and ridicule and imaginary ridicule. I’ve been haunted in my dreams by this ever-present feeling of hopelessness. Every day:

There’s that blog with 200 more followers than I have!

Holy crap, [insert amazingly popular author here] just commented on [insert amazingly lucky blogger here]’s post!

OH MY STINKING GOSH, HER BOOK’S GETTING PUBLISHED!

Amidst all this, we must and do find a way to trudge along. I find myself thinking this over. What is it that’s necessary to keep all this insanity from breaching the security of our psyche and polluting us – what keeps us from plunging into the deep, dark, treacherous caves of despair?

It’s the way we digest things.

You can either look at that popular blogger’s follower count and actually, physically cringe, or you can allow that monstrously intimidating number to inspire you. You can process that boiling envy into something useful and powerful.

Motivation.

Instead of indulging hate for that blogger (who probably felt inadequate 20 minutes ago and will in another 45), or that unavoidable and TOTALLY UNHELPFUL feeling we call jealousy, we can recycle our envy and create progress. No more moping and no more watching the computer screen and hitting the refresh button just in case their follower number increases from 821 to 103,728,485 in the next two seconds (not that I’ve ever done that). Give yourself an alternative: Write another gosh darned blog post.

There’s only one way to make change, and that is to move. Consume, digest, and do something with what’s left. Take those feelings of inadequacy and mutilate them until they are feelings of promise, of potential, of if-they-can-do-that-maybe-I-can-too.

We’ve done it before. We wouldn’t have telephones or iPads or microwaves if people had not transformed useless self-doubt into useful motivation. Bill Gates would be living with his parents in an RV somewhere in Colorado if people didn’t have the ability to recycle their emotions.

If you cannot reduce, then at the very least, reuse and recycle.

In ten minutes, when your friend emails to tell you that an agent requested a partial… In twenty minutes, when you stumble upon that singularly popular blog with 103,728,485 followers… Move your curser to the red “X” in the corner, click it, and open a Word document.

August 30th, 2010

Doors and Windows and Ventilation Shafts

by Madeleine Rex

We all know that quote of Alexander Graham Bell’s that has become more of a cliche than a source of inspiration:

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Oh, yeah, Maddy’s going to use that overused quote again. Don’t run away.

I really did feel a sudden urge to write about this, and feel the urge even more after reading this Guest Post on Pimp My Novel about envy.

Madeleine’s message? It might not be a door that opens, but a window. Or a ventilation shaft. Either way, if you try hard enough and face your overwhelming claustrophobia and sock it in the face, you can make it through to the other side. Take advantage of opportunity, no matter how small. Even if it’s so small that your shoulders get stuck every four squirms.

(And I’m claustrophobic, so you really should take this post seriously.)

When a friend goes through a door and slams it in your face, take the ventilation shaft that’s suddenly appeared to your right. Start wriggling.

Take advantage of every inch you can move forward, because progress is progress. Every bit of leverage and every opportunity presented to you is a gift. Not grabbing it and hugging it to yourself is the same as returning it unopened right to the gift-giver. Aka, rude.

I encourage you to face claustrophobia (any opposition), work through it (ignore it), and make it to the other side (progress).

Because even ventilation shafts lead to something new – something you can’t see from the other side, but must trust is there.

Psst! Tell me what you want to see in my blogiversary giveaway! – Help Me Help You