I always used to think that I would have been a much more motivated student, if I had a nice place to study. In reality, I did the majority of studying in my bed, which often resulted in a lot of Netflix and really long power naps (OK, so technically I guess they were not power naps, just really long naps…).
Now I know that a beautifully furnished study place probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference. The problem was not my study surroundings, as much as the topic of my studies, which unfortunately did not interest me enough to spend time on them. Once this realisation occurred to me, I got very depressed. I felt like I had wasted a lot of good years, and maybe even missed the possibility to fulfill my true passion and potential.
It took me a long time and a lot of personal development to understand that this kind of thinking is not healthy nor useful. Instead, I now try to focus on all the positive things that wouldn’t have happened if I did not get my degree. For instance, if I did not get my degree, I would never have:
- Gotten my dream job
- Met my boyfriend
- Spent semesters abroad
- Had plenty of good times with a lot of great people
“Every cloud has a silver lining.” Sometimes you just have to say (or write) your thinking out loud to realize it.
I’ll tell you a secret; I have been brewing on this first blog post for more than two years. I have imagined it being clever beyond words and hugely inspiring, securing instant followers hungry for more. If it isn’t perfect, it’s not worth launching the blog, I always thought.
This led to an academic journey for knowledge worth sharing, involving numerous TED Talks, scholarly books, networking events, and a full-time trainee position on the side. And so, here I finally am, two years later and ready to launch the blog.
Unfortunately I must disappoint you. This will not be the grand, first blog post that I imagined. You see, my academic journey turned into a personal one instead, which helped me realize my obsession with – and consequent hindrance of – the concept of perfectionism. Because along the way, I discovered how “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for excellence. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen” (Brene Brown: Daring Greatly, page 128).
This quote changed my life. And, by extension, it also changed my ambitions for this blog, as it will most definitely not be perfection (whatever that means). It might not even be good enough. But at least it is finally here, and all I am hoping for is for it to get better along the way.
I guess immediate disappointment is not the best way to start a blog or build an image. However, it does take some of the pressure off. And who knows, maybe the grand blog posts will appear further down the line… I hope you will come back and see for yourself!