There’s no doubt about it. I am made up of two distinct, diametrically opposed parts: one part believes I’m invincible, extraordinary, exceptional, and the other that I’m far from it. Way, way off. Not good enough, not doing enough, just not enough.
I laughed when a writer friend recently commented on a specific part of my latest book Somewhere In Between and described me as possibly slightly ‘neurotic’. And then I felt a twinge in my gut, and a little voice in my head. Flip, maybe she’s right! Am I a neurotic?
And so while writing this blog, I thought to clarify my understanding of the term (oh, the irony of it all- talk about neurotic!) and just looked it up, in case I missed something.
Google says that a ‘neurotic’ is someone who is ‘stressed out’ in its loose form, but in psychological terminology refers to someone who shows signs of mental disturbance but does not indicate complete psychosis.
Apparently, the opposite of a neurotic is someone who is stable and likable.
Wonderful. I’m delighted with this. If I am indeed neurotic, then, according to Google, I must be unstable and unlikeable.
I prefer Maya Angelo’s take on this all. She says:
You alone are enough.
You have nothing to prove to anybody.
And on most days, I feel like this. I really do. So much so, that I’m intrigued about the increasing presence of life coaches these days. So many people around me have either trained as a life coach or are mentored by a life coach and I’ve been wondering why.
I understand the idea and necessity of a sports coach – the image of someone standing on the side of an athletics track with a timer in hand shouting encouragement at odd intervals, a rugby coach like that gorgeous Rassie of our Springboks , but a ‘life coach’?
Surely I just lead my life? With all my neurosis and all and hopefully get to the end having had more good than bad days?
I’m a skeptic and a cynic about a lot of stuff. I think too much of humanity is a mess, made up of too many narcissists and perhaps the enormity of the world’s grief is just too daunting for me. And you can read quotes like this as much as you like, but you still have to live each day.
‘I don’t know why you think so much about so many things’ says my husband. ‘Don’t you know? Almost everyone is F#*ked up.’
But I summoned up my skeptic self and stuffed my superficial judgment into my bag and sat around a table this week with a life coach, just to see if I was on track. With my own life.
Here’s what I learned:
With all my own reflections on goals, resolutions, and understanding that structure, discipline and persistence are my vital tools (because I am constantly evaluating living a ‘best life’ – okay, okay , okay, I’m neurotic!) it comes down to being accountable.
And perhaps that’s how we get to live our best life: by being accountable to someone who can tell you that you’re on track. Or that you’re good enough.
Otherwise you can just be accountable to yourself I guess?
But when I look around at the mess of the world, and the plight of the planet, it’s simply a ‘people problem’ in general that seems the most obvious cause. There’s no accountability!
So, there. January’s already now done and dusted. 11 months of 2020 to go.
I’m off to live my best life. One day at a time.
I hope you are too!