I’m all ideas

Have you ever had an idea that excites you so much you think you might burst? That makes you go all giddy and want to run around screeching and laughing maniacally? That you feel the same as being a kid when your Mum would say: “calm down, it’ll end in tears” because you and your siblings/cousins/friends were so excited to be seeing each other and running around doing whatever it is that you were doing?

Have you ever then told people said amazing idea, to help verbalise it so you can’t back out, and make it real, and their response makes you wish you’d never had the idea, let alone said anything out loud?

I have an idea. Well, I have a few, and I’m so fizzing over them, and this year I’ve finally got to the point where I’m ready to do shit, because I finally know what that shit looks like. My word of the year for 2023 is courage, and so I’m at the point where I actually want to take a leap of faith. I’m ready. I’m confident. I’m unwavering.


When you tell people, oh, do you get all the fears and what-ifs and the how-can-yous.

I’m learning there’s a fine line between telling people to help you sound things out loud and keep you accountable, and accepting you’ll hear things you don’t necessarily want to.

I guess at this stage, of not-quite-being-able-to-do-something-just-yet (and I’m aware I’m being a little cryptic, but I’m not ready to put stuff out into the world right now), I’m after encouragement and positivity. I’m want a response that’ll give me a little more confidence and courage to press ahead. I know there’ll be practical considerations. I know there’ll be things I need to think about. I know all this stuff.

I’m not stupid, I want to shout, although I know people don’t think that. And I don’t want an echo chamber of ‘OMG amazing yes, you can do anything you put your mind to and all you need is the mindset’, because we all know that’s not the case either. What I actually want is people to trust that I trust myself. Because I do. I know myself well by now, because I’ve tried, and failed, and succeeded, and fucked up, and been OK. I don’t make decisions all that lightly (even if it seems like I do), and even if things don’t work out, that’s alright. I’m OK with things failing, or going in a different direction.

I’ve been mulling all this over the last couple of weeks, and I think there’s a couple of things at play for me.

  1. I am triggered by how these scenarios played out in my relationship with my ex-husband. (Background: we were together from when I was 17 – 30 years old, and was a hugely formative relationship in my life which has had significant residual effects). Whenever I had an idea, or wanted to do something even slightly ‘out of character’, his first response would never be “oh amazing, tell me more”, it would be “that’s ridiculous” or, “how are you going to do that” or, “why do you want to do that”, and so on. Some points were valid, as it is useful to work through actually how I’d achieve something, but it felt like everything I did or said was met with negativity or blockers. My ideas and dreams were never celebrated or supported. He’d call me an idealist, or the eternal optimist, or a dreamer, and always in a negative way. I always thought’ what’s wrong with being all those things? Because yes, that is intrinsically me.
  2. People project their fears outwards. We know this happens, it’s an unconscious defense mechanism. But I don’t want to hear the fears. I know them, I’ve either overcome them, or I’m trying to ignore them, or I’m prepared to deal with them. I know some points are valid, I’m just not ready to delve into them yet. I’m at the ideas stage, where anything is possible.

I have to try really hard to not get defensive and feel like I have to justify myself, which is my natural reaction if I feel like someone’s telling me what to do (after years of point 1) or I feel like they’re trying to piss on my chippy chips. I want to be childish and petulant and say ‘FINE. I won’t bother telling anyone EVER.’ Which obviously helps. <rolls eyes at self> I just don’t have the energy or the details yet.

Because I, like probably most people, have the same thoughts about whether I can do stuff. No matter how much I trust myself, I still think ‘who am I to have this idea, what do I know? Why do I think I can play in this arena? Who do I think I am? Surely there are so many people out there doing this better than I can? Better qualified, more experienced, more savvy.’ Just better all round. Better than me. So every fear that’s projected onto me, reinforces that a little more. My little bit of confidence shrinks even more, and there I am, trying to grasp back onto it, like a slippery eel. Because maybe, just maybe, things will work out great. Maybe I can be great.

I guess what I’m saying, is that I don’t want to be told it’ll end in tears. Yes, it might, maybe it’s even very likely to, but I can deal with the tears when/if they come. And if someone tells you about an idea they have, even if you think it’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard, maybe the best response is ‘Wow! Tell me more,’ and ‘how do you feel about it?’

Published by Paps

I love running, writing, travel and adventure. I'll give anything a go once, and am always up for a laugh.

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