Keep your blinkers on.
HIYA! Life has been unbelievably busy lately, but i've been having so many similar conversations with people and realised it was something I wanted to share with you, so here we are.
Throughout my entire time studying, I was told the same thing over and over again.
“Abi, keep your blinkers on.”
Comparison was, and still is, something I really struggle with. Totally unhelpful 90% of the time, and a waste of energy 100% of the time. Of course it's hard to see someone flying when it feels like you're crawling, but remember when I told you that some people are great at appearing busy and perfect? Yeah. That.
The recent conversations I've been having with my friends and colleagues have all been covered in anxiety, lack of self belief and mostly really hyped up. These are wonderful musicians, journalists, creatives, who have achieved so much already, but their focus isn't on how to achieve more tomorrow than they did today - it's on how someone else is doing, how much they were doing two years ago, or how there's so much to do and it's completely overwhelming. I've said the same thing to each of them- keep your blinkers on, focus on one step at a time, and relax. It's a constant process, just do you boo.
Keeping it real as always- I'm 10/10 writing this for myself too. Life has got so busy, (which I'm grateful for, empowered and a bit overwhelmed by) but I saw something a few weeks back (on social media, duh) that threw me. It made me question my ability, made me a bit jealous and let in those old doubts that I carry and throw the finger to every day. So I sat myself down, reminded myself of all those lessons over all those years in which I was told the same thing, and decided to just do things in the way I know best- my way with my blinkers on.
I thought it might be useful to share what I do when I get distracted by other peoples' paths, so here you go.
-I get a massive coffee, put some Joni Mitchell in my ears, and get my diary out.
I plan EVERYTHING. When I'm going to practise, when I'm going to the gym, which emails need sending on which days, and who I'm going to sync up with for mindless chat and an aperol spritz. It calms me down so much.
-Make a moment for a meditation.
You'll either love this or scoff at it, but honestly, five minutes using the Headspace app sorts my mood, my perception and my focus for the next step riiiight out. (big up Andy for his dulcet tones)
-I play something that I LOVE.
Usually for me it's old folk songs that I grew up with, tunes I learnt a long time ago, but more recently it's been improvising over an Indian classical music base, particularly using the iTablaPRO app which gives me liiiife.
-Do some exercise.
I've only used this as catharsis in the last ten months but it MAKES ME FEEL SO GOOD. Lifting heavy weights, going for a run or a swim, or a boxercise class which you yell your way through. Nothing like some intense cardio for a fresh sense of focus.
And when the moment has passed and I've dipped into my toolbox, I find it easier to carry on finding my way, through my career, in my own way. See if you do too. You got this.