Getting Out of Your Head

I watched The King’s Speech with Colin Firth last night and the techniques used to help Bertie overcome his stammering got me thinking: most of the hang-ups we face, the things that prevent us from accomplishing what we want or make us think we aren’t good enough—they’re all in our head. At some point someone, something, or some event put an idea in our minds that we aren’t good enough, and that feeling can follow us for the rest of our lives.

One of the things I’ve worked on over the past year is rediscovering who I am and moving past what I’d come to assume were my limitations. Without another person telling me what I can or cannot do I’m learning how to decide for myself what’s important. Physically moving has helped me even more—the simple acts of adjusting a shelf in the kitchen cabinet or tightening a screw in the dryer has shown me that returning to my old self is possible; that my worth is not dependent on what anyone else thinks. (This includes agents!)

The voices of doubt are still there, but now I’m in charge and I only listen to them when they have a valid point—like when they question if a puddle is too large to leap over or a box too heavy to carry up three flights of stairs. I’ll still listen to those hesitations.

Side note: It’s Owen’s 2nd birthday!

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Melanie's Mom

    The thought that helps me in a variety of situations is — “if s/he can do that, I certainly can.” My first real career came about that way. I was in an administrative assistant position and recently divorced (with a small child) and needed to earn more money. An article I read suggested that college-educated women are often stuck in lower level positions and one way out is to look around within the company where you work and see if there’s something else you could do. There was a high level person who I thought was a real jerk and I said to myself — if he can do that, I should be able to do it. And I did! Within a year, I held a higher position that he did. So whether it’s putting together something I ordered online or a new career, if s/he can do it, so can I.

  2. Melanie's BFF ;)

    Great blog, and comment! Three flights of stairs can really put things into perspective! 😉
    Happy birthday, Owen! (pat on the head)

  3. At Peter Dudley’s behest, I made a recording reading from my latest WIP.

    I HATE the sound of my voice. So, just like King George, I freeze when a microphone is turned on anywhere near me.

    But, as I stated in my intro, my reasons for not doing something always become my reasons for doing it. If I’m ever going to get good at this, I need to keep going, to practice, to hone a few skills.

    That’s a martial arts philosophy that works well in the real world. To find nobility in the struggle, even if you’re ultimately unsuccessful.

    • I can’t stand the sound of my voice either. I worry my voice is really that high-pitched. In my head it’s not at all.

      I like that philosophy. I always try my best no matter what I do, and strive to make sure no one can ever say I slacked off.

  4. Yep! I have several mental road blocks and all of them require me to leave my comfort zone. *eep!* There are days when I feel like taking the world by the horns, and on those days, I try to push myself to do something that I don’t normally do.

    The King’s Speech was a great movie. We just watched True Grit this past weekend. Also a good movie. 🙂

    Enjoy your new home!!

    • I do try to push myself, but sometimes the hesitation wins out. That comfort zone is just so dang comfortable. These days though I can usually move past that by reminding myself of how much I’ve already done and been through. I can do this too. 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday, Owen!

    I’m glad you’re feeling nice and powerful. Now it’s time to see Green Lantern. But seriously, you can do anything, and there are nay sayers all over happy to say nay so you’re right to ignore them and just say yay. Yay, I say!

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