That was this week's homework assignment from my blog coach, Steve O'Bryan of Smack Smog. Can I do it? Will I do it?
Homework is commonly assigned to my clients. Homework is a great way to reinforce and extend what we do during the therapeutic hour in the office. We try to come up with something that will be challenging but not too much so, meaningful and yet practical. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
When it doesn't, I occassionally hear an apology, accompanied by a statement of guilt and/or an excuse.
"I'm sorry, but I didn't do my homework. I should have but... (circle all that apply):
- I just didn't have time
- I tried but it was too hard
- it made me feel worse than before
- I must be doing it wrong. What is wrong with me?"
Whether people do the homework or not, doesn't matter. As we said ad nauseum in grad school, it's all grist for the mill. In fact, I kind of like talking about why homework doesn't get done. It's a real opportunity to point out that there are several reasons why homework may not get done and fixes for them:
- The homework assignment was not designed well. When a shirt doesn't fit it is not your body's fault. Same with therapy homework. Fix: Re-think or re-design more do-able homework. Often breaking it down to smaller steps helps.
- Resistance. Something about the homework causes anxiety. The Child in us says, nope, not doing that scary thing. Fix: Gently explore what's so scary and why.
- Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes the kids really do get sick or emergencies happen or the IRS decides to give you a surprise visit. Fix: Re-assign the same homework for the next week if that makes sense.
The point is there is no place for guilt, no need for excuses. Not getting the homework done is something to learn from.
Which brings me back to my own homework assignment. I had an earlier task, to write a few pages a week towards my book. Weeks went by and all I had were excuses and a lot of guilt. Finally Steve said, in a very sweet manner, "You are afraid success, Girl!"
To which I could only reply, "Yes. Yes, I am." (see Resistance above)
So we stepped back. Steve suggested a blog post a day to loosen up my writing muse. He didn't care what I wrote about, how long the posts were or if each post was brilliant. Just make it original and make it everyday. It is a good idea.
So far I'm three for three. Will I be able to keep this up? I actually look forward to the challenge. I'm ready! I will not let my fear of success keep me down. You can track my progress on the calendar at the bottom of the sidebar on the right.
Now I have to go pack for my trip to the West Coast. You will hear about that tomorrow.
Photo courtesy of SOCIALisBETTER