This post is written for the ISWG group. Read more about them here:
This month I would love to explore this topic inside out. I have been observing this last month how this topic has influenced my life since I was small and what is different now. Read more.
I have been going to some Alanon meetings (12 step program for the families of alcoholics) for couple of months here in Hawaii and I was honored by one of the members to invite me to be the speaker of one of the meetings. The date was set. I did not do much for quite a long time, but I knew that I needed to prepare properly as I also had only 20 minutes to share my story.
I thought back to almost 3 years I had spent in these rooms – talking my stories as well listening to others. Understanding how much trouble can alcohol’s misuse create and how it can turn ourselves inside out.
I remember one of the meetings way back when I started and where I lead the meeting. I usually have no issues with leading. I am happy to lead people and do it very naturally.
It was a complicated meeting and there was no script about it and I was so worried to do something wrong, that after we were done, one of the elderly members came to me and said that I should have done it differently and that it was not correctly done. After that I did not lead any meetings for almost all these 3 years!!!! I just did not want to get that kind of feedback again. Then I started to think maybe I am really so sensitive towards critics that I just can not tolerate it any more? But I think the main reason here was that my inner critic took the lead and got united with the insecurity. Together they are much more powerful.
But it is something to suggest for everyone. Be aware how your words can stop someone to be the grandest version they are and amplify their fear and insecurity. Would you like this to happen?
Now the opportunity here in Hawaii was ahead of me and I was not expected to lead the meeting, but I volunteered to do that as well. I followed the script and I messed up quite a bit, as some of it was not written, but everyone was supportive and present. I got super positive feedback from everyone who was there. It felt good. I had healed my old wounds.
When I prepared for my speaking I went back in time and brought out couple of stories from my childhood to exemplify how being in an alcoholic family influenced me – but it definitely did not completely define me.
Because of all these crazy experiences I became a survivor and I am a strong woman I am today maybe especially because of that.
The story ended with many examples how Alanon system had helped me to win my insecurities – like even doing that speech or leading the meeting. We need a map or a system which helps us to keep ourselves on track.
I felt that insecurity was not my enemy any more. It had actually challenged me to become more and show more and conquer my fears.
I figured my insecurity is connected to my inner critics. When this relationship is disconnected, then everything else gets dissolved as well.
The key is to be and become present and conscious when life presents these really crazy crossroads on our path. When we are not present – our insecurity becomes our enemy. When we are present – it becomes our friend. Sometimes even our best friend. Logical yes? In practical life this is so much harder and challenging though.
Another example from the past month about this topic.
I have been working on my different book manuscripts and could not figure out what is keeping me still so stuck – I literally felt like I was paralyzed. I asked around, but no one’s suggestions really clicked for me.
So I kind of asked from my spirit. When you do that here in Hawaii, it is very direct with answers – these come also very fast!
A Polish journalist Barbara Pasek took contact with me shortly after that. She was interested to interview me because of my sologamy wedding last year. I told her that I am sorry – not sure if you are really interested any more as I got married to a real man too. She talked to her editor and she was okay with it. So there we were giving a skype interview which was recorded for their morning show in Polish TV which is connected to the Discovery Channel. Wow. I had no insecurity or no fear because I talked about something I loved and was very special and unique about me. She was impressed how throughly I had thought this all through and how special my story is.
I discovered that when you do what you love – insecurity is neither your friend or enemy – it just moves out!!!
Right after that – only couple of days later – the story about me and my husband got finally published in the Estonian newspaper (which was stuck there for almost 2 months) as well. You can have a peak about it here:
Both of these things gave me insights.
Insecurity had also been created here because I was not sure:
- Firstly what topic to choose first (as I plan to publish many books about different topics in the long run).
- What type of message sharing should I use? Adventure story? How – to book style? Something else?
- I live in Hawaii and I have too much air and water element activated in me (go in to the ocean a lot and I am outside a lot. I work a lot with my head (online classes, home work etc) and I write a lot (activates the air and water element). I understood that my body needs more grounding. I need to train more harder type of training and focus also on my muscles. I need to go to the beach and let my husband to dig me into a sand and leave me there to ground myself for an hour or so. I need more structure, systems and I figured I really need my own separate room, which I could call my office. Which would be quiet and I can just go in there and just write, write and write and work on my projects with no interruptions.
- I do not dare to call myself a ‘writer’. I can not really say – I am a writer – and own it as I feel that this is something only people who have published books can do. I write approximately 10 000 or more words per week, but it does not count as being a writer in my mind. Or in my critic’s mind. But until I do not say it to myself and do not own it, it can not serve me as one of my talents!!!
- I needed a real deadline for my first book from a real publisher. I asked from one of the publishers what is real at the moment and she basically said – that if you deliver your manuscript within 2 weeks – I can still make it happen to get this out by the beginning of December this year !!!!!! Everyone has told me that releasing the book is a hard work, it takes too much time, you need to give at least half a year for editing as such only. Another friend of mine wrote her manuscript within 13 weeks, by sharing each week a new chapter of her book with her girlfriends and staying accountable like that. It seemed to me like an unreachable goal. So here I am today – 2 days after this email and I have literally written 4000 words a day. If I continue like that the rough draft should be done within 7 days and the ready to send the copy for the editor by the 14th day. I understood also that in the book world I had really lived in the illusion of how hard it all is. It is as easy as you believe it is.
- The whole process of giving birth to a book has been quite a long and painful experience. For me – it has been 10 years of going back and forth – how and what. I remembered one time when I had a manuscript ready and one person said – that if you write about this topic (which she was expert in) you need to also write it in English (it was in Estonian) and let her firstly proofread it and secondly approve it. It completely blocked my desire to publish a book. This manuscript is in my drawer – 10 years later!!!! Ouch! It could have helped many people with these issues. This made me think how much power do we give to other people’s opinions and how that is the ally of the insecurity and our enemy.
- Now I am at the stage where it looks symbolically like I am in the giving birth process already, I am walking around and the baby’s head is between my legs and half way out and it is so painful and urgent – I almost feel like I am going to die or something – and I need to finish it NOW not LATER. I know why I do not want to finish it – as then I need to give my ‘baby’ away to editors and just the idea of this makes me terrified as I know they are going to chop off what is not necessary…
- Talking to many other artists during the recent weeks I understood that we are all so insecure that with that we influence our outer reality to shape accordingly. If we are scared to die of critics or of our own success – what happens is that we stop living our dream fully. We stop using our talents, skills and knowledge to the maximum we are here to do it. For the artist to live without your art is almost like a worse death than with a weapon. It is the essence of our lives.
- Why do many of us feel insecure about our abilities to create beauty, art or masterpieces? Because we have not got enough support as little kids. We have not had enough people cheering us up or believing in us. We have had too much negative feedback and our inner guides’ voices could not been heard, as these were drown underneath the critic. If you have a child right now – know that you have a huge responsibility to support him or her to become whatever she or he decides – however crazy that may sound. Even it if is a professional mermaidism they want to pursue. In the case of negative feedback – we have not felt that we have had wings behind our shoulders. We have just walked our path with resistance and suffering and choosing the heavy path. That is not the artist’s way. The artist’s way is when the muse touches you, you feel like you have stepped on the surf board and you are flying in the wave and you are like in the bubble – as everything in your universe starts to realign with your true purpose – however crazy that sounds or is! Because Universe created people with a secret program in their hearts – to fulfill their unique mission on this planet and have fun with it!!
- In conclusion I would say that it is really smart to observe what kind of being or animal is the ‘insecurity’. Because as I have shown – once you observe it enough – you get to know its character and after you know what to do and how to influence it – you have the power and you can ally up with confidence and publish these ideas into bestsellers even if it is one in a million chance. You may also understand how to tame your insecurity. Once this happens – insecurity has no power over us and we are the kings and queens of our game.
Aloha. My name is Crystal Ra Laksmi-Ditton and I am an adventure writer, who writes about adventures inside out and outside in and builds bridges between the invisible and visible words and worlds with stories and possibilities.
Thank you for your attention and time. Please share with me – is your insecurity your enemy or your friend and when does it move out and what have you done to become the boss of your insecurity?
Pictures by Pixabay, Private Collection and as marked underneath specific pictures.