• Category: News
  • Date: May 01, 2022
By Shope Delano
  • Written from: London, UK
  • Keywords: confidence , narratives

Change your context, change who you are?

Having spent my entire career beholden to content calendars, sending these newsletters whenever I fancy it, feels like a small act of rebellion. 
(She says, whilst adding ‘Commit to Monday 8am cadence’ to her Q1 2022 deliverables.)
There's an annual malaise that descends upon our brains and bodies at this time of the year, but this 2021 edition feels particularly gloopy. Everyone is sick. Either with covid V2, tonsillitis, or the mutant feels-like-covid-but-isn't-covid flu. I'm not sick (yet?) but am more distracted, less creative. My usual methods of resistance (exercise, brute force, wine) aren't as effective. 
I therefore write to you under the influence of such malaise - and share with you the only thought train pointy enough to wade it's way through:
I tend to act out past narratives that aren't congruent with who I presently am.
20 y/o Shope was “young, high-potential, but lacked confidence". She was anxious to please, and exhibited a lot of ‘happy to be here’ energy. Most of her relationships were student-teacher.
Now, almost 7 years on, experience grows in place of potential and I'm more anxious to get paid than I am to please. Most of my relationships are peer-to-peer. Some, dare I say, are teacher-student. 
And yet, I often find myself settling into old patterns - asking questions that I already know the answer to, blunting the edges of my intelligence so as to make my counterpart feels useful.
This is a bad habit at best. A dishonest (manipulative?) one at worst.
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More of us do this than would be open to admitting. I assume because it's comfortable to exist within known territory. I know the story of Shope ‘lacking confidence’ extremely well. It gives me an excuse to pluck off the shelf when something doesn't quite go to plan. It's a strategy to avoid the rejection / failure that comes with really showing up and showing out as present-day me. Perhaps. (Therapists on the mailing list - this is your time.)
But, of course, all of the hot, sexy, cool things come from existing in the now. The past is closed, finite. There is limited utility in anchoring yourself to it. The present, rather, is open, infinite. Full of possibility. 
My (social, emotional, intellectual) world has at least doubled in size in the last 2 months, as a direct result of more readily expressing, balls-to-the-wall, who I am, and what I believe. 
I have a change in context to thank for my growing ability to ditch old stories. Leaving the safety of full-time work, and the boundaries of manager-employee was a forcing function for me to step into the parts of myself I didn't feel I previously had the “right” to. 
I'm not sure it's a step-change that would've happened voluntarily. I can be a little too quick to defer to authority, but in it's abject absence, I didn't have a choice.
Evolve or die!!!


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