I think the Oyster card wallets chat is dying a little so don’t worry, I’ll focus on the stuff that jumps around my head from now on. I’m sat here with photoshop open and writing this so excuse any errors, I’ve still got work to do!

Last week I think it was, I was reflecting on the struggle we face daily and how, I believe, we can try to overcome it. I was using some flowery terms that won’t have been easy for some of you to read, more so for the males, perhaps, but ignore that and I wonder if it resonated?

Well, I said I’d reflect too, and this is what I’ve come to think. Yes, increasing the love for yourself and judging yourself less will help you and the wider world, but there’s more I want to give you. I am reading a book from Brene Brown, an American researcher, philosopher and professor who discusses vulnerability.  She says that the type of vulnerability we encounter and our reaction to it can be a major deciding factor in how we experience joy. If you push guilt on yourself for not doing XY and Z or look down on yourself for having done A, B and C, then you will continually find yourself in a vicious circle of self-judgement, bordering on self-hatred and depression when times get too tough. As I asked before, “what good is that?”.

I’m writing this so I guess I need to be open and help convey my point with my experience. On reading Brene’s account of when she was researching the traits of people who struggled to enjoy the richness and happiness that life had afforded them, she noticed the following were repeated over and over… Perfectionism, judgement, regarding exhaustion as a status symbol, productivity as self-worth, ‘cool’ness, performing, improving and a quest for certainty.

I was knocked for 6 (English term, look it up). Each ‘fit’ within me like a babies shape toy, each with different geometries slotting into my psyche with perfect fit. It made sense and made me realise I need to address these, now. More over I hear how Brene regarded creativity with near distain, something I have been guilty of until recently. Creativity should be the lifeblood of our world as I now believe and to embrace creativity we need to live without comparison. Comparison… add that to the list.

To be free of these shackles would be to put one’s self in a vulnerable situation, something which obviously repels my natural instinct but something apparently essential to the human spirit. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Even writing them down make me want to leave the room and grab a beer.

So how do you make yourself more vulnerable and is that something that’s acceptable in modern society? Well, society is a cruel, cruel mistress. The culture of perfectionism and consumption has led to an increase in the messages of worthlessness we all get fed by the outside and inside world. From within we strive to be something despite it not being the ‘us’ we truly wish to be.

Self-shame and shame itself.

If you are reading this and you see flickers of light from behind the words then let me reassure you, I have all this in oodles so you’re not alone. Let’s work through this and see if we can sidestep the negative, shall we?

Firstly, consider the actions we take. I for one think if I do X and it fails, I fail. Think about that. If I work on a project and IT doesn’t meet my expectations, then I fail. But I’m not lazy, I’m not a bum, if I didn’t work 24/7 then there was a reason, right?  I gave it my all, taking into account the rest of my life, so I’ve done my best. So why have I failed? I haven’t, IT failed. More over I can assess that and try to use that to try and get the next project to work and if it doesn’t IT will fail again, not ME.

Add to this the experience of adversity. Going through life without failing would benefit no one. Without experiences of adversity you only have hopelessness. Hope is a function of struggle, not an emotion and we need to embrace it as much we do the wins.

Using this we can now look to avoid external factors forcing our feelings but let’s try and change some that are already within. The negative things I talk myself down with are nothing but a construct of my mind born out from the failures of things I’ve done, not me, not my character. If I consider myself a bad businessman one day it’s because the things I set in motion didn’t work and I reflected that on me. I need to refract that back. I need to remind myself of the successes I have had and with as much vigour and passion that negativity came shine the same back. How you do that is up to you, but just give attention whenever you have some time to yourself, to give yourself gratitude for you. List why you are amazing and the achievements you have realised in your life. I’m told mantras aren’t useful, so keep from just saying it to yourself without feeling, really think about what you have done and realise, yes REALISE, that’s impressive what you have achieved.

Once again, reflect on this and maybe we can chat more on this later. CarbonCube Design beckons and these darn Oyster card wallets won’t print themselves. I wish they would print themselves, and design themselves for that matter, that would be ace. Until next time, enjoy your day.

I enjoy our chats, thanks for listening.


Love, Jimmy.