I couldn't sleep on Thursday; I was tossing and turning all night, my mind working overtime. But I wasn't worried about what you might expect right now - the pandemic, the price of groceries, or when I'll see my friends again.
No. I was worried that I'd make a fool of myself, let people down, or offend people with my most recent venture - The Spinsters.
We launched The Spinsters WOMENSLETTER on Friday, it was due to be delivered first thing in the morning, and I'd convinced myself that something was going to go wrong.
And if that happened it would be all my fault; I'd let Katy down (Co-Creator) and all of the wonderful women who trusted me and gave me their email and said: 'Yes I want to be a part of this'.
And a lot of women signed up.
Far more than I anticipated. We had a target in mind, and we tripled that. Instead of being thrilled about this (which I am!), I started to feel the pressure mounting - the pressure of getting it wrong somehow, and these thoughts can be paralysing.
I have grown and developed significantly over time.
Historically I didn't even know that I held these limiting beliefs about myself (not good enough, not worthy etc.), and instead of attempting new things, I simply wouldn't.
I'd make excuses to get out of following my heart and my ambitions so I could feel safe: 'I'm too busy, I couldn't do something like that, I don't have the resources etc'., or ya know, have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and forget about it.
It is hard to put yourself out there and do something different.
To raise your hand and be seen. To make ourselves vulnerable; to make ourselves the subject of other people's conversations - to be judged and potentially criticised. This feels challenging and uncomfortable.
Nowadays I frequently find myself knocking at fear's door saying: 'Let me in; I'm here.'
We know these fears are irrational, we know they are, we're not going to die or be harmed, and yet we still get carried away.
But what's the alternative? Having ideas, goals and ambitions and doing nothing about them?
My trick to deal with this kind of fear is this:
- So what?
- So what if people judge you?
- So what if people criticise you?
- What about it?
And on we go...
My best is ALWAYS good enough, and so is yours.
I believe that eventually, we're able to reach a point where we can live without irrational fears.
I have had short periods in my life when I've managed to - where I accept 'all that is', and I put myself and my energy out there with no expectations.
But it's hard to maintain.
Usually, the robust conditioning of the past seems to be waiting to creep back in to remind us that we are not good enough, we're not worthy etc. It's a continuous battle to remain conscious and mindful.
The WOMENSLETTER did get delivered on time and correctly - whoo whoo!
Everyone who got in touch with us loved it. We had women emailing us, messaging us, commenting on our posts, tagging us in their Insta stories and even buying us coffees! Perhaps even some of you did as I know a few of you have signed up!
I'm so proud of The Spinsters - for putting ourselves out there and for doing the work.
We didn't receive any criticism on this occasion, but I'm sure we will as time goes on. We're sharing what seems to be a radical message - that women are ok on their own.
Not everyone's going to like what you do.
Especially if it doesn't fit in with the status quo, but if we have a burning desire to do something then we must act, we must feel the fear and do it anyway.
I have a gift for you all next week!
I"m working on a checklist to explain the tools that I've used over the years to cultivate the life that I have now.
If you've been with me from the start, you'll know that I've had my fair share of challenges including depression, anxiety and addiction - all stemming from a profound lack of low self-worth which accumulated in an unbearable life experience for many years.
Figuring it all out
So I'm trying to piece together cohesively, exactly how I managed to turn my life around so dramatically, so I might be able to help you, or someone you know, or anyone interested, and the checklist is the first stage in this process.
That's all for now, I'm going to have an Earl Grey and a slice of very crumbly and slightly burnt banana loaf I made yesterday - I'll never make chef!
My best is ALWAYS good enough, and so is yours.
I send an email out on Sundays. To receive honest and absorbing stories to help us try and make sense of our world alongside self-care ideas please get on my email list. I talk about grown women stuff including mental health, personal development and navigating mid-life alone.- separate to the WOMENSLETTER, which is a resource for women who live alone and comes out Fridays.
Hannah Anstee is a former British Wellness Journalist turned Women’s Coach & Mentor.
You may know her from her work as Beauty Editor at YOGA Magazine or her contributions to The Independent or Psychologies Magazine.
Using her no bullsh*t approach Hannah helps single women (inc. single parents) feel more confident so they can live an exciting and meaningful life with no apologies.