I honestly think Nike was onto something with their “Just Do It” slogan. It’s simply brilliant.
I was very into the “Takin’ It Bird by Bird” slogan of last week and I still think it’s a great idea and I’ve heard it quoted twice in the last week by two different co-workers who were overwhelmed and stressed and then eventually resolved with the wise words of Annie Lamott. My new mantra this week is a bit “bird by bird”, a bit “Just do it,” a bit of “Just Say Yes” by the Cure, and a bit of Jim Carrey from the movie YES MAN. From IMDb’s summary of YES MAN:
“Carl Allen is at a standstill. No future… Until the day he enrolls into a personal development program based on a very simple idea: say yes to everything! Carl discovers with amazement the magical power of “Yes”, and sees his professional and romantic life turned upside down overnight: an unexpected promotion and a new girlfriend. But he’ll soon discover that better can be good’s enemy, and that all opportunities shouldn’t be taken.”
A little history. I think you can tell from my blog or Facebook postings that I’m floundering a bit. Even through a recession, I do believe there are a lot of options for me in this world. And I know that nothing and no one is standing in my way except for my own damn self. But my anxiety comes and goes. My self confidence comes and often goes. I already have a full time job – being a mother – and often she’s the only thing I have the energy for (sometimes, barely) and she’s the only thing that really matters through all of this. So then I thought about that. “She’s what matters. Nothing else does.” And I got excited and decided that I could use my corporate apathy to my advantage! It doesn’t matter, right? Right. So then…if it doesn’t matter, it’s not worth the stress. It’s not worth doubting myself. It’s not worth saying no. I should just…do it. Quite simply. Just do it.
A few things happened lately. For one, I heard two good quotes. The first one I heard twice in the same week and it was definitely the first time I’d ever heard it because I would never have forgotten something so beautiful, but it was strange to hear it twice. It’s from George Bernard Shaw:
“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?'”
The other quote is actually from Donatella Arpaia, judge of “The Next Iron Chef.” (Yes, I’m a dork) She basically just said to the chefs, “Get calm, get focused, and…fight.” It was cool. Simple. I like calm.
This really mostly started yesterday at work when I was asked to write two ads to be used on Facebook. I instantly panicked and hid in my shell and thought about all of the reasons why I couldn’t do it: I don’t have a degree in marketing or copywriting. I’ve never written an ad. I know nothing about advertising or marketing on a professional level. However, she asked me and not anyone else. So it didn’t matter if there even was someone more equipped for the job out there in this world – the ad was my baby to produce. So I used Cassidy as a sounding board. And I frantically scribbled notes and got “visions” of what a good ad might look like. And I even read Facebook’s best and worst practices for ad writing. And I talked to a marketing and business whiz friend who told me words that were magic to my ears. She basically said (not verbatim), “Sure you could waste tons of money and time on a marketing degree and take a riveting (not) accounting class. Or you could realize that you already have for social media what Harvard graduates would kill for: an honest voice.” I love her. So I wrote that ad. I wrote the sh*t out of it. And I presented it today and was asked to write another. I just did it. Plain and simple.
And today lots of other tasks at work scared me. And I just did them all, or at least made the outlines and moves to just do them all. Can they see the difference yet? I would think they’d have to be closing their eyes and ears not to. I’m living in a temporary bubble in which fear of failure doesn’t exist. Or actually it still exists very much, but I’m choosing to ignore it. I’m choosing to quiet the several voices that give me reasons why I can’t do it and why anyone else would do it better. I seriously can’t hear them right now. I was chosen to do something for a reason, right? Instead of why, it’s why not?
I wonder how long this will last. Maybe forever. Maybe just a week. It’ll go away but it’ll come back. And if it goes away awhile, it’s ok because the extreme amount of productivity that happens while it’s here will stick around awhile. And one day it might just stick around permanently.
It’s just so easy. So very easy.