We have been talking about starting this blog for two years. We’ve been friends for many years (since graduate school), but living on different Continents for the past 20+ years has meant that life just gets in the way of frequent or consistent communication. But that, I guess, is how we know we are really good friends. Distance and time are kinda irrelevant. And about two years ago both of our personal family lives imploded in shockingly similar ways. We found ourselves reaching out to each other for moral and emotional support. And it really, really helped. REALLY! And as we came out the other end of the worst of the chaos at the time, we both commented how helpful our email interchange had been, how just hearing the validation and support through words (and sometimes a funny cartoon or YouTube video) was enough to make it all bearable. Help us dust off and move through each day. And so we thought “Could this be helpful for others?”.
And there was the birthplace of www.twowisechicks.com. A place that people could come for a read, for advice. Non-judgemental. Real. Written with heart, from the heart. Safe. By two women who are well-qualified, intelligent, articulate and love to talk. And write. Women who have dished out some decent and insightful advice on occasion. Who are both experienced therapists and psychologists. Who have had many successes and many epic fails in life, because we are just human too. We’re funny (well, we think we are). We make mistakes – but always try to make up for it. And because there’s two of us, we can call each other out on our nonsense. We’re doing this because it is exactly what we needed and still need from each other, and we guessed that it is exactly what everybody needs but doesn’t always have. Because we are just lucky. And grateful. And want to share. So, that is what the intention is and was for this website.
Two years later… TWO YEARS LATER!?! Why are we only starting now? Well, the enlightened and somewhat evasive answer is that good things take time. That this is happening at the exact right time. Blah Blah Blah.
The truth of it? We are extremely busy people. Sally is a Psychologist and Psychotherapist who runs a very busy practice. In between helping others, she practices self-care, and has her own ‘life’. Tanya is an extremely busy mother of three small children and two large dogs, who single-parents much of the time because her husband travels for work. Oh, and they happen to live on different Continents. As they jokingly (and sadly) say “this would go much smoother if we could just meet for coffee once a week!”. Sigh.
So, two women, little time, and somewhat limited technology skills, start a blog. And realize that despite being very, very busy and having limited skills, they still really, REALLY want to do this. So what on earth is stopping them?
Lack of time? Lack of energy? Lack of decisiveness? Surely not! We can move mountains when we need to. And here we are. Almost two years in. And nothing except a stick-chick header (that we love), a rough guideline for a blog structure, and no content. Not true – we do have content. Then it dawned. We’re scared (DUH!).
Of course, what we are talking about here is ‘everyday’ fear. Some people might call it worry. We see some blurred lines, but when we call something a ‘fear’ it is worry to the point of causing you to actually not do (or do) something that you would otherwise (without the fear factor) do. This is not to be confused with traumatic fears (caused by exposure to traumatic events or material) or phobic-fears (intense feelings of fear that appear out of context or intensity with the situation). We are, of course, simplifying huge volumes of research and data here, but again, we trust you follow what we’re getting at. If you feel that either of these two broad categories apply to you, then we would strongly recommend that you seek professional help. Please know that there is real help out there to be found, and there is no reason to be living in a state of constant/extreme fear or dread. For us, that’s not a way to live. That’s would be existing, and life is just too short to spend it just existing. Our humble opinion.
So what exactly is fear? Well, a general definition is an unpleasant emotion that is aroused by the perception or belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, evil or a threat. Fear is an adaptive emotion. What that means is that we have it in order to be able to protect ourselves in the face of danger. When we feel fear when walking down a dark alley at night (why we would do that – the walking down the dark alley part – we’re not certain), that triggers a physiological (big word for body-chemistry) state ready to react should something bad actually happen. You know, use our ninja-kick powers if we hear a sound behind us, without having to really ‘think’ about it first. Of course, alternate actions would be running away (really fast), or standing there frozen to the spot.
Using this analogy, then we have been frozen to the spot, staring at the blog site. Terrified of our own words (the ones we keep thinking we’ll write). Unable to move. Hoping against hope that the blog site doesn’t hurt us.
Saying that out loud, it just seems ridiculous. Crazy even. Why are we fearful? (We know it’s not just us).
So in the spirit of naming our fears, here are some of the doozies:
- What if our words in this blog will not help people.
- What if it’s awful (or as Sally would say “Rubbish”)
- What if people hate it? Hate US?
- What if we don’t have time to keep up with it?
- What if we don’t have the skill to do this?
- What if the blog becomes too successful?(fears can be so irrational..)
- What if we start to hate each other??
Notice how this list is a whole pile of fears about things that haven’t actually happened? There’s a hint when you’re trying to distinguish whether something is an anxious fear (worry based), or a real fear (a dog snarling at me).
These are just a few – as you can see very clearly, more than enough to cause us to procrastinate, avoid, run away from the task and judge ourselves for doing so. We are not useless, lazy, tired – we’re scared (and busy)! So take from this: When you identify what you are afraid of, it is empowering. You can let go of so many negative self-judgements and unwanted behaviors and reactions. You can start moving forward.
Now, you will find oodles and oodles of very helpful self-help articles about fear all over the Internet. Check out our ‘Resources’ page to find links to websites and literature we recommend. We do not need to replicate all of that here. We have, however, created a handy-dandy cheat-sheets to help you identify and manage fear (Tips for Tackling Fear) in your life (we’ve pasted it below too). Our next post is going to be on worry and anxiety, with more tips, tricks and humor (or humour, for all you European folk).
So here we go – we’ve jumped in and are super-excited to be finally jumping in with you. In the wise words of Brene Brown, we are “Daring Greatly.”
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