Awesome Apprenticeship: April

We asked Courtney Ramirez to be our Awesome Apprentice; she’s taking the 52 Weeks to Awesome course and will be writing us a post at the end of each month to share her experiences with us.

Look how excited she is!This month the awesome has really started cranking into high gear!

It was a tough month – but good. The toughest, most freeing, most important work I did this month was stopping the downward spirals. Those are a killer – they get me a few times a week.

It normally starts with a stressed out email checking session where 10 things get added to my already crowded to do list. Then I start thinking: I haven’t been on Twitter in two weeks, where is my latest blog post, how can I call myself a copywriter if I’m not marketing my business, how can I focus on my business when my husband obviously needs me to take over with the kids (even though he’s doing just fine with homeschooling)… It goes on and on.

And at the end of that spiral it’s usually “I shouldn’t even be working for myself to begin with – what was I thinking?” or “I’m stuck and I suck.”

I was happy to read the lesson on stopping the downward spiral because not only does that very spiral make me question every adulthood decision I’ve made, but it’s just a sucky way to spend a day. Normally it’s exacerbated by me thinking, “Oh no – I’m thinking badly about myself. And if I continue to think badly then nothing good can come of it…yadda yadda…” (That’s the tangent spiral.)

The day after I read the lesson, the first spiral hit me first thing in the morning. Instead of freaking out about it and turbo charging it into a massive spiral, I thought, “Okay – I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

I shut down email and took a moment to collect. I hugged my kids. I looked in the mirror and told myself that I’m awesome. I did the Remembrance. I moved on.

It took less than 20 minutes – but it meant the world of difference.

I realized that I didn’t give myself enough time to finish a project, and I hate letting people down. But I swallowed my pride, emailed my client and lo and behold she couldn’t review it until next week anyway! That meant I was free to focus on other things.

I know that not every spiral is going to end with such a relief, but it was so much easier to see what was really bothering me once I relaxed. It felt more empowering to address the issue at hand (my work right now) instead of letting that spiral take me back to my mistakes at 21 or 16, which it has before.

The most fun, most exciting work this month was discovering more about my personality. If you’ll notice in the way that I talk about this Awesome process, my brain does most of the leading – both positively and negatively. I overthink. A lot.

This month I found out that’s because I’m an INTP on the Myers-Brigg’s Scale (“The Thinker”) and a 5 ennegram (“the investigator”). Layering this over what I already know about my Aquarius sun was really interesting, enlightening – and made for a fun evening with my husband as we compared test results (he’s a INFP, 2/7, Sagittarius).

My mind is at the center of my personality – and it can be used for good (self-supportive thinking) or for evil (downward spirals). But I think I’ve gotten into a good space with those spirals so they won’t waste my days anymore!

Courtney Ramirez is a content, seo and marketing superhero consultant by day and geeky BBC sitcom watching mom and wife by night. When not developing carpal tunnel by writing for her clients or playing the Sims, she’s homeschooling two girls and toying around with the idea of starting a new blog. You can follow her on Twitter.

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