Today I want to write about my relationship with writing. The one place that can keep me stuck forever because of my “never good enough” attitude.
Many moons ago when I graduated from high school I had a creative moment which ended up with two creative creations and luckily in the small town I live, lived one of the most known book's reviewers in Israel. My father knew him and asked him if he is willing to see if there is some real talent in what I wrote. The guy who is a pretty cruel persona to other authors had a moment of compassion to yours truly and told me that I am very talented but I am missing some life experiences and he believes that with some life experiences along the way I will return with a really great book. It was a moment of you have It but allow yourself to be in the journey of learning more about yourself before you create. Who knew that one-day practicing noticing my life will be my main purpose…
I put the writing aside and 10 years after one night in a moment of creative passion I started my own blog about being an Israeli mom in NYC. I wrote the blog in Hebrew, my first language and people loved it, I started getting wonderful emails and calls from people who resonated with my experience, with my cultural, internal observations and got curious about my journey, then from the blog some Israeli travel magazines asked me to write for them about traveling with kids in NYC. It was such a special experience, the writing showed up in a moment of a total desperation of where am I heading with my life… You see, the book reviewer from Israel was right. After our relocation to the US, I was so stuck with my life, I loved the city like I never will love another place in my life, but I felt like I can’t fit in. I worked and didn’t feel fulfilled as I felt before our relocation, I stayed home with the kids but couldn’t be present with them because I was too focused on trying to figure out what will be my next step. It was the first time in my life that no matter where I turned there was an internal wall blocking me. I wasn’t used to feeling this way, I was always a resourceful person who figured out how to deal with hurdles in my life, I wasn’t used to not being resourceful.
But when more and more people reached out asking me the same question: “we enjoy learning about your life in NYC, how is it to live where you live with kids, will you recommend living there?”, I launched my first website that was about my blog because for the first time I saw an opportunity to answer those questions. But the cool thing about a journey that when you think you got into your destination you learn that there is another place across the corner and that’s what happened to me. When I launched my website few Israeli women who live in the US called me from different states and asked me how did I figure out this new business opportunity (ha!)? They have no clue what to do next and they feel so stuck with their life and will I be open to coaching them?
Few different women, same week, same ask. That was the beginning of a calling, first of many of others asking me to show up and lead their way in different ways. This is how the coaching profession found me and in a way I feel gratitude to the night I started the blog that has changed my life forever. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any struggles and bumps along the way, I had trillions of them, they slowed me down, but they didn’t make me stop. The one thing I did stop when I started coaching was writing. Funny enough since my coaching business was in English and related to coaching and not to what I have used to write about: being a mom in a foreign country, the observer of a new culture, my writing flame became smaller and smaller.
Actually, I am not sure if this metaphor is 100% true, because I felt as the flame was still burning, internally, but I wasn’t able to express it externally. When I am thinking about it now when I am trying to process and share with you the experience it might have been that the coaching conversation I was having with my clients and others overflowed my writing. In addition, there was the other matter that made my writing flame so small, it was my limiting belief that I can’t write and express my self in English the same way I was able to express myself in my first language, Hebrew. Every time I tried to write something my inner critique told me that it is not good enough and people will not want to read it, so before I gave it a chance it was already gone, back to my virtual drawer…
Until a few months ago, when a close friend of mind and a brilliant coach helped me realize that although I always ask others for their feedback about my writing, it wasn't others who I was worried about, it was me, Noa, who was never happy with my writing, it was never good enough!
Now – not good enough was never one of my mottos, but apparently, there are some areas in my life where things have to be perfect and writing is one of them. It is on my “top strengths points” and I am not willing to compromise on okay, or average, it has to be perfect in my own unique way which is very messy and me. It is not about perfect English grammar (I gave in to being perfect in my second language years ago), it is about the way I share my story in my own unique writing way, the way that I feel others can connect with me. So I have learned the hard way that when I give others to edit my English they kill my writing, not because they are doing a bad job, but because they take away my special voice as an observer of my own journey.
However, to get this post done, I needed to wait 3 long months, 3 months of struggle, every experience I wanted to share and wrote about in my little booklet was not good enough. But today when I parked my car, I pulled out my laptop and the words went out easily, I felt like this is the story that has had to go out, my untold story, the one I needed to write as a reminder to self when I sabotage myself again with the" this writing is never good enough" for me - my worst critique.
Oh! question - where are you sabotaging yourself?