Let me introduce you to Winifred, the “what-if” goat.
Winifred came to me a while back when I was hyped up and anxious about the next stage of the business. I was asking myself, what if I do something wrong? What if things fail in spectacular fashion? What if I never make another panty again? What if I can’t write another word?
I was getting myself into a swirling vortex of panic. When things get like that, I practice visualization techniques. My approach is to picture my negative feelings as something that makes me smile. Enter, Winifred.
I imagined her cute goat face, chewing on clod of grass. A couple of pieces were hanging out of her mouth but she would get to them. Winifred stared at me and asked, in her slow and bored goat voice “What if people laugh at you?”
I took the kicked in the gut feeling that question caused and breathed out. I thought about the what-if with Winifred standing there, chewing at me. It’d suck. I’d probably cry a little, probably not want to leave the house. I’d probably make myself a new panty with the phrase, Tougher skin makes me stronger. I’d move on; I certainly wouldn’t break because some putterheads tried to make me feel badly.
Picturing Winifred asking me all the random what-ifs in my head calmed me down. I hope she helps you too. If nothing else, I hope she gives you a smile for the day.
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What I see: Drive, physical strength, and endurance.
“Stomach stomach sticking out, how I want to cut you out”
– start of a journal entry, circa 1994
Flip through family pictures and you’ll see I rocked a belly from the moment I was born. Pictures of me jumping into a pool at Disney World when I was six, round little tummy leading the way. Frog jumping contest, t-shirt snug against me as I whack the mat behind my bullfrog. Year after year, picture after picture. That tummy stands out to me like a beacon.