I'm not going to sugar coat the importance of doing the work in the same way I don't expect you believe in overnight successes. You see, even if the media talks about a musician that appears ready for the stage and seemed to appear from nowhere, they've usually been singing, dancing or strumming some sort of string years before that announcement.
There's natural talent for something in all of us, but it's rare to witness more than the initial spark in someone without there being a need for them to hone what they know to get it to a professional standard. A standard set by us, the people who want to view or pay for what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste.
But why the word Tenacious?
I was obviously looking for the T in BITCH at one stage and although I actually found it fairly straightforward to find a word that resonated for each letter, looking for one to represent T took a little more time than the others. But time was something I was willing to give to get it right.
But that's the tenacity I have within me. Not patience I might add. I've always been happy working towards something, but it's taken some time to learn to be patient.
I was first told I was tenacious by someone I worked for. I'd not heard of the word then, but I liked it. Mostly just the sound of it if I'm honest. As a write, the sound of words brings me absolute joy because the sound gives me something to play with , particularly in poetry.
But although I liked the sound of the word tenacity when I first heard it, I didn't really pay much attention to its meaning. It just sounded cool.
That was until I mused over whether I wanted to use it as part of a huge piece of work I wanted to embark on: The Bitch Pad!
And so that involved more tenacity to look at its meaning in a way that I felt intuitively aligned with to go out on a limb with it and put it at the forefront of what The Bitch Pad means.
It became a creative process to see how the word felt, how easy it rolled off the tongue or sounded and whether its meaning was appropriate for my intentions.
I kept looking for other words, just to make sure I'd done my due diligence but my intuition kept screaming at me to use it, and who am I to ignore that?
The meaning of tenacious or tenacity that appealed to me was this...
The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.
In other words, having the persistence to see things through to realise what you want.
When I read that definition there was no question that this word was in. It tied together all the others with the glue I was looking for to ensure the book I was writing had the right ingredients to guide my readers. It was the word that would guide me, and hopefully you to work towards all that you want for you, by being brave, tuning into your intuition, and being creative with your efforts to lead with your heart towards all that you want.
There was no doubt that tenacity had the meaning I was looking for!
You see, dreams without effort remain just that. There is no overnight success and there is no way forward without some effort to walk in the direction you seek.
Now, you don't have to do all the work, but you do have to put effort into ticking all the controllable boxes that only you can take charge of. That includes getting the support you need to help you make it to the finish line and then shift the race to your pace as you sustain it for the long run.
As you change your life!
Doing the Work
And the reward you gain from doing the work is well worth it in the end because you secure your future. A far cry from the dissatisfaction that can often be felt when people get things handed to them on a silver platter.
Yes, it can be tough along the way, but when you're journeying towards what you want, what is a bump or a pot hole to put you off? I should know, I hit two potholes and jarred my shoulder with the second one a couple of days before writing this post.
In this world, you're going to have to work towards something, and so you may as well work towards something you love.
In a busy world we sometimes have to say STOP to even remember what we love, which is a sad state of affairs. But it's essential when we feel stuck, and it's a good idea to pause regularly to keep us in flow.
If you're feeling stuck, something is blocking you that is serving up the STOP sign in a different way. Something is stopping you rather than you requesting it.
If this is happening it's helpful to scan your life to understand why.
What stops you?
If you think you're all alone and there's nobody to help you, think again.
If you don't have the confidence, dig deep and learn to be brave.
If you don't know where to start, begin with your intuition.
If you've started but lost your way, it's time to get creative.
If you don't know what you want, listen to your heart.
Your heart will always tell you because SHE knows you best.
And if you don't know where to start, just start. You'll probably go wrong somewhere along the line, but who hasn't?
Notice that I've linked the words that define B.I.T.C.H in the statements above. The links will take you to the relevant blog/podcast when they become available.
How to start
If you're sitting there thinking that this just sounds conceptual and the meat on the bones is missing (sorry for that analogy vegans), here is how I begin as a writer (use your intuition to find your steps that suit what you do).
I always begin at the beginning of a piece of paper. Top-left, way above the margin or on a blank page to ensure I'm already breaking the unwritten rules of writing to get me on my way.
Next, I put a pen on that piece of paper.
And then I start moving that pen. I allow it to glide across the paper just to see what happens.
I do this as I connect with my breath, and tune into what wants to be freed from somewhere within me.
Sometimes it makes sense and has context, but not always.
Something new sometimes appears.
And sometimes, it's just a release of what is getting in my way, and when I release it, the good stuff then comes out to play!
I don't read what I write as it flows, I don't often really see what's in front of me. I just let the pen glide and feel into the process. And oh my word the words flow more freely and deliver me messages I couldn't have thought up any other way because I am writing so free.
Find your way
You might have read the above and thought, 'but she's a writer, that won't suit me'.
The thing is, I start in that way whether I'm writing a book, a blog post or doing nothing of the sort. Writing is just my way of getting started.
Perhaps your way is a vision board, researching online, moving your body, putting some music on or having a hot drink by your side. I do a few of these things too because mixing it up helps different things to release at different times.
It's also important to remember that we change throughout the day, and from day to day, so when you're starting out, try not to get caught up in these two little traps:
I can't start unless I have XYZ lined up (that's called procrastination)
Nothing is working for me today despite all my conditions being right (that's called a laboratory).
Let it be messy.
Let it be you in your rawest form.
Break the rules.
Persist even when you feel like you want to resist.
Chop it, change it and cut it up.
And don't let perfection get in your way!
Find ways that serve you but don't let them become things that stop you.
If I don't have paper and pen, I use the notes app on my phone (I've written whole book chapters on it). Have your regular way and then have backup plans or allow spontaneous suggestions to surface, so that your way doesn't end up getting in your way.
Find what facilitates you rather than what hinders you.
If you're favourite way isn't working, don't let that be a reason to stop you.
Switch to something else if it suits you one day!
Don't accept the excuses your mind wants you to believe.
Persevere for you
Even when you've found your way, expect doubt to seep in sometimes. It loves to do that. It's a skill of your mind designed to question your path. It's like an unwelcome guest that just loves to pop up when you're feeling good about all that you're doing.
Rather than allowing it to block you, think of it as an annoying child that has nothing better to do than to bother you. And remember, it will only bother you if you let it, especially if you have emptiness in your life for it to fill .
If your life is filled with what you love there is less room for doubt to creep in for long. Fill your well with what you love even if it feels tough at times, and you'll doubt yourself less. You'll learn the difference between the important inner questions that lead you to consider how you can grow, versus the dreaded doubt that makes you want to drop it all for fear of not being good enough.
Leave imposter syndrome at the door. It is never a suit for you to wear.
If you lead with meaning, it's much easier to keep believing!
This is where we get into the grit and grunt to help sustain you along the way. And it's also where you use your intuition to tune into your needs to help you get what you want.
So, for starters, what do you want?
Do you even know that yet?
You probably know what you don't want. So shift all of that to one side.
Then look at what you want instead.
And make sure it is what you want and not what you think you want.
It's risky to run after only what looks good that someone else is doing.
To know what you want, start by sensing your way in.
If I gave you what you want...
What would it taste, sound, feel, look or smell like?
And do you like all that you sense?
If the answer is a resounding YES, then you've got something of substance
to work with from the very start.
And when you feel into it and it resonates well with you, and deep inside it is still what you want, think about some key steps to get you started. Actions that you WILL take to really get you going.
Where to start
If knowing where to start is still a mystery even after all that I've shared, perhaps it's time to do some research.
If you know what you want is something you feel deep inside, who has done something
similar that you could learn from?
What have you done before that could help you?
What support might you need to get going?
What exactly is it that you're going to be doing in the beginning, in the middle, once
you've got going, and all the way to the end?
And what might you need to help you to keep repeating that to build the life you want?
What variety might you need to keep you going?
What sustains you?
What will sustain what you're going to leap into?
Begin with an idea, a picture of what you want.
Then describe it in more detail as you flesh out what it actually means.
Dig deep to understand what it would mean to you your dream came true.
Meaning is really important to move from dreaming to succeeding.
What do your goals mean to you?
One step at a time
When you have your fully fleshed out idea, break down the first five steps you need to take towards launching that idea into reality. Then look at those five steps to see if you'll be ready to launch. And if not, come up with the next five steps that you need to do first and check again. Keep doing that until you have a plan that begins at the beginning.
The plan doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to resemble a skeleton for you to follow. You will learn along the way, and as you do, you will gain the experience and expertise to adjust that plan to better suit your new path forward.
That path might be personal or professional. Either way, when it means something to you, it's worth planning to makes sure it happens!
This is your plan...
Be brave enough to stand by all of that and take charge to adjust, improve and reach further as you evolve along the way. Take the lead with your heart with full knowing that you can do all that you set out to do, when it means something to you.
And listen hard.
Feel into all that you need and want.
Go with your gut and back it up with the support you need to trust it.
Your mind is there to raitionalise and provide you with logic to do what you feel in a way that will work. Avoid doubting every gust of intuition that whispers in your ear.
Listen first then respond.
Just do the bloody work if it means something to you.
Adapt, evolve, and breathe into doubt to keep it at bay. Learn as you go, trust your instincts and find a better way if what you're doing isn't working. You'll soon see what I mean by creativity when I focus on it for you next week. It's all about you serving you in a different way, whenever the need requires you to do so.
Trust that you have it within you!
Your heart sets you apart from the start.
Your heart gives you the courage to dream and the strength to persist.
Your heart will lead you if you let it.
Stand by it, trust and listen.
SHE will guide you from your deepest self to elevate to your highest self.
Your heart will always empower you.
Listen to her whispers and SHE will speak the words you need.
Stick it Out if you really want it.
You've got to give it energy to fuel it into reality.
Commit to what is important to you.
Your energy is precious, spend it wisely and believe in all that you really want for you.
You can absolutely do it if you really want to.
But it ain't going to land on your lap.
Be brave, as you lean in, work at it and adapt in different ways if your dream needs
I know you can and your heart knows you can.
Lean in and lead the way.
Do the work and don't stray.
Your persistence over resistance will pay.
Until the next time,