(Note: originally published on LinkedIn here.)
This is the eighth installment of "What Resonated This Week," where I share my observations around a common theme or topic that made an impact on me, and hopefully will be a catalyst for conversation and further discussion.
For the last few months I've published posts about what's resonated with me. Connecting the dots was the initial theme, followed by the idea that you need to customize your message and be mindful of your audience. After that I wrote about finding the courage to ask for help, and the power of "Coffee Talk" and connecting in person. My most recent posts were on the hidden benefits of road trips, notes written on Post-its®, and customer service.
This week it's about bananas, nuts, and stories that suck.
I'll admit it: every January is a struggle for me.
While most are busy feeling empowered to stick to their New Year's resolutions, I find myself in a bit of a funk. I hadn't realized that this was a cyclical thing until my husband pointed out that at the start of each new year I tend to be...down. Quiet. Introspective. Kinda bummed out but not sure why.
I do eventually snap out of it, but during that low period I find myself asking questions like "What the hell am I doing with my life?" and "Am I where I want to be?" Not surprisingly, the answers are "not sure" and "not exactly," respectively, and stem from some unrealized creative goal.
No wonder I'm feeling a bit lost.
Fortunately, all I need is a little inspiration and a metaphorical kick in the butt to get motivated and moving again. And thankfully this week, that came by way of three fabulous authors that were new to me here on LinkedIn.
In her post, "How Do You Like Your Banana?" Trish Goff tells us of her preference for the perfect banana experience (not too green, no hint of brown) and how getting into your own "Banana Zone" timing can help you excel at just about anything. The trick, of course, is to finding your own unique zone. How do you do that? Over time, with a lot of patience, and a keen eye of self-observant behavior.
Inspired by Trish's post, Shelley Brown suggests that we "Take A Look At Yours." She makes the case that your "nuts" — those things you are trying to hide from yourself and pack deep away (shortcomings, mistakes, human fallibility) — need to be reviewed. She argues that change is only possible through honest self-assessment, and through sharing your "nuts" with an objective, trusted friend or colleague.
Of course, you have to be willing to hear the bad with the good. And sometimes that's tough.
Ask Ashley Stryker, who chronicled her own experience of providing requested feedback to another writer in her post, "Write Your Story, Even If It Sucks." In her post and as a fellow writer, she acknowledges that you want to be told that your words matter. However, some degree of rewriting is always required. The key is not to let the fear of criticism prevent you from telling your story; instead, use it to make it better.
So thank you, Trish, Shelley, and Ashley. I'm trying to take your collective advice and even published a post this week about coming to terms with calling myself a writer. I realize that in doing so I'm inviting the inevitable critiques, but I'm welcoming them in hopes that the feedback will ultimately help me find my own unique Banana Zone where I won't have to hide away my nuts in fear, and where even if my story sucks, it matters.