Declare Your Needs, Boldly

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

July 23, 2014

You have to put yourself out there and say, without shame, “I need help.”

One of my favorite things that I do with our members is organize and co-facilitate informal “focus circles”. These are topical and time-limited accountability groups.

I love helping scrapbookers to feel more accomplished and celebrate every little victory. But, I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I feel like a focus circle flunkie.

I know that imposter syndrome is common among entrepreneurs, women especially, but I can’t shake the guilt of having not met more than one of my own focus circle goals.

In particular, I’m having trouble finishing this:

Declare Your Needs, Boldly

It’s a 5.5×8.5 mini album that covers my pregnancy, my daughter’s birth, and her first 6 months. Everything is done except that last component. It would probably take me an hour, maybe two, to find the photos and do the journaling.

I’ve made this my goal for several of these focus circles and am even hosting one now specifically on baby books. My lack of ability to… um… focus on this is nearly comical.

Stepping aside from my embarrassment, I’ve come to realize that I need the same coaching that I provide to my members. But to be coached, informally or not, you have to take the first step.

You have to put yourself out there and say, without shame, “I need help.” Stuck in leader mode, I’m pretty sure I haven’t done that or even thought about what I need.

So here it goes: I’m having trouble moving past the guilt of not having completed this album “live” like I had planned. I’m struggling with perfectionism and a fear of disappointing myself. I need encouragement to let go and finish it up.

Whew.

OK, now it’s your turn! I’m inviting you to leave a comment boldly and proudly declaring a current challenge and what you need in order to move forward. Please also consider replying to comments from others.

Together we can coach each other towards our next victories!

Update: I finished on July 24, 2014!

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30 Comments

  1. Ami Pilon

    Sometimes not finishing is a way to hang on to an event. Perhaps you don’t want to let go of the last to do item from baby time.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Yes, that is certainly part of it.. and not something I’ve internally explored very well. I’ve always said I wanted just one baby, even before I met my husband, but finishing this closes an emotional door.

      Reply
    • Ammi Dearmont

      I have typically scrapbooked “current” photos and albums, and when I get in a slump and time goes by I still scrapbook “current”. This has led up to mostly empty to halfway completed albums since 1995. About a year ago I started working 2009, 2010, 11 and now 12 to complete. I “plan” to go back to 1994/95 and go forward to complete those albums. Yes, I do feel a bit guilty that they are still not complete and now I do not remember as much. Each year is in a separate photo album. I did at some point stop worrying about chronological and just whatever I wanted to work on. So while pages have dates, they do not go in order. Which I found both liberating and fun. When I open those albums I never know what I will see on the next page because they are not in order.

      Reply
      • Jennifer Wilson

        Ammi, could you combine some of those albums into logical multi-year periods? This might help you feel closer to done with some of them.

        Reply
  2. Audrey V

    My current challenge is lack of motivation. I want to be lazy this summer instead of being productive. I want to be lazy and putter around my house and garden and enjoy the fabulous summer weather and not have a to-do list. I am wise enough to know that my energy ebbs and flows, and I often have days/weeks of low energy/motivation, followed by super productive and energetic days/weeks. So I am just “going with it”, and enjoying being lazy, until my next cycle of energy comes along.
    I have many unfinished projects, even like one page left to finish a whole scrapbook, or scrapbook albums and classes that are half-finished or never started. But I don’t have guilt about it. I know from experience that someday I will get the motivation to finish a specific project. And I don’t worry about it.
    I have some projects that likely will never get done, and that’s OK too. I think we have to look at all the wonderful things we have made, and cut ourselves some slack about the things we haven’t finished yet, or may never finish.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Well said Audrey! What will make you happiness is accepting what you really want right now. And if that’s to be lazy and not get a lot done, to totally embrace what comes along with that.

      Reply
  3. HelenH

    My thought, too!

    Reply
  4. Gypsy

    I’m stuck back in April for my OLW work. I really wanted to complete that process on time this year- I find the project gives me so much but I don’t prioritise it, I’m not sure why.

    Jennifer set a specific date and time and just do it. The satisfaction of having the project complete will negate the guilt! 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Can you give yourself permission to skip around and work on the parts that are inspiring you? For a while I got stuck on the mood board (assuming you’re following Ali’s class) but then I realized I could just skip it and move on.

      Reply
  5. Cyndi Brideaux

    Personally I would ditch the word guilt. My confession…hmmmm….I’m doing pretty good lately…..still hard to resist classes and buying a few things. But doing way better than before. I guess I always say I’m going to do a cute project I see online or in classes and then I never do. The reason for that is that I’m trying hard to finish all those other projects I said I was going to do. So no starting new ones. But I still say out loud that I am. Dumb! Need to keep my mouth shut. Do more, yap less

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Hehe! I understand the pull of something shiny and new. The beauty of really diving into less commitment overall is that eventually you can always say yes to the new thing because there isn’t anything unfinished!

      Reply
  6. Cheri Mandaquit

    Yes indeedy, I still have a challenge! I am in the middle of an 8×8 album for my granddaughter’s college graduation and Alaska cruise with us. I have the photos sorted, but having a tough time with the paper and journaling. I have sooo much to say and such a small space!
    Jennifer I challenge you to finish that page by Sunday night and I will pick out my papers. Maybe I’ll work on the journaling too. I love accountability!
    Cheri

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      To select papers, I like to choose one with a multi-colored patterned first and then use those colors to find more monochromatic papers to match. Eek, Sunday? I was thinking end of August, but I am going to take you up on it and try!

      Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Alright Cheri, I finished! Your challenge lit a fire under me and I found the time to do it.

      Reply
  7. Terri Torrez

    Way to own it, Audrey. I’ve been struggling with something similar. In May I ended a four year committment to the PTA. I then I thought – finally – time to scrapbook. I thought I was being smart though about not jumping in to something with both feet. I reviewed all my class/inspiration options and decided on a weekend at Scrapbook Expo and May Flaum’s Camp Scrap. Expo was fun, but we’re in week 4 of Camp Scrap and I’ve worked in this class for one day. And I know myself – I use live classes for motivation, once they end, I rarely go back. Not that I’ve been idle per se. I’ve spent quite a bit of time decluttering, I’ve written some in-depth posts for Capturing a Magic blog, and a new video game came out that I’m playing (Divinity). I should be fine with doing those. But I’m still feeling guilty because I’m not scrapping.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      One way of looking at it might be that a little bit of guilt is what keeps us growing and striving. Yes too much of all that is not good, but a smidge means we’re humans who always want to try a harder.

      Reply
  8. Angie

    Perfectionism! yikes. It is killing my scrap productivity. I have gotten worse and worse about this to the point that it literally takes me a week or more to finish a layout these days. I keep going back to it and not finishing up what I need to finish up. Then when I’m finally done, I still feel it’s just “eh”. I need to get over this and go back to a place where I could scrap at least a page/hour. I think all the lovely stuff on the internet has ruined my idea of what is acceptable. My family thinks every thing I make is just fine. I’m the only crazy one. 🙂

    I took your Art+Science of Scrapbooking class thinking it would help me jumpstart my ability to work like the engineer that I am, and locate the creativity when I want. But…I’m sorry to say I have only completed 1 single challenge and haven’t even watched them all yet. I need help!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      You’re not crazy Angie. There are lots in the same boat with you, struggling with perfectionism.. and that includes me! I would try to make a very short list of 3 things you want to do. Keep that list close at hand and work through it, focusing on just one layout at a time.

      One thing that I do when making a layout is take 30-45 minutes to get it mostly done and then walk away. Then I can spend a little more time with fresh eyes to finish it off. I find that staring at it too much consistently makes it harder, so that break helps a lot!

      Reply
  9. Honoré

    Hooray to all of you for making progress on your challenges! And to you, Jennifer, for completing the album! Wahoo!!

    Reply
  10. Sue

    My challenge in regards to completing my 3 children’s baby books is that they are now 35, 33 and 31! Dates are now forgotten, wished I had taken more pictures of special events, didn’t capture what is in my memories now, etc.

    I have finished their first years. Do I now group birthday pictures through the years, school pictures, etc.

    I guess I’m not sure how to organize the rest of their albums! My thought when I started 5 years ago was to have an album for their first 18 years of life.

    Help!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Sue, I am around the same age as your children… and recently completed an album from my birth to my daughter’s. It was organized by People I Love, Things I’ve Done, Places I’ve Been, and All About Me. Using these categories helped me select highlights without being exhaustive. I used a combination of pocket pages and layouts.

      Reply
  11. Karen

    Ugh, I have the honor (burden) of being the family caretaker of my Mothers and her parents photos and memorabilia since their deaths 4 years ago. They died within 3 months of each other and I want to do something meaningful yet easy to store/manage. Something that can be enjoyed by others but won’t take up a lot of space. I have a shameful amount of supplies in all formats (12×12, 8×11 and digital programs). I am paralyzed and can’t seem to commit to a format of the materials I should use. But, I have an overwhelming desire to use what I have (because it’s a lot!!) How can I get past this and begin??

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Karen, I suggest setting up a little challenge for yourself. Do just one layout in each of the formats, taking note of what felt easiest and most enjoyable. Then come back here and let us know how it went. For the time being don’t worry about your supplies or your uncertainty, focus on this experiment and then we’ll help you tease apart the next steps.

      Reply
  12. HelenH

    Hang in there, Karen! Trust Jennifer to help you focus and and use her tools to develop a plan.

    Reply
  13. Carol White

    Proud of you, Jennifer! Do we get to see any layouts?

    Carol

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Next time I’m photographing I’ll make sure to get shots of the pages I finished!

      Reply
  14. Cheri Mandaquit

    Yay!!! I knew you could do it! And I just wanted to let you know I selected my papers and have completed 5 pages in my 8×8 album. I read your post today and realized that I too am a perfectionist. I felt like I couldn’t proceed unless everything was perfect! Now that I have permission to go with “that’s good enough” I can actually make progress.
    Cheri 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Yay, good for you! Keep on it Cheri. =)

      Reply
  15. vicky

    I am trying to complete an album that will include photos and journalling of all family events, trips etc from 2006-2015 I have started and have done a lot. I printed some photos and finished up to 2010, I don’t a great budget right now to print the rest of the photos yet. What I am working on right now is still organising all the photos on my laptop many are not organised properly into individual folders. It is a massive task and I need to go through deleting photos that I don’t need also and repeats. What I do usually is I go online and use picmonkey.com to make photo collages, it is really fun that part! I find it is better as I can get 2 or photos in one 4×6 size collage, cuts down printing costs and the album won’t be crazy full before I finish. What advice does anyone have about journalling and photo organization?

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Vicky, you would likely benefit from our free Photo Crush challenge. Getting your pictures organized is a key foundation piece of being able to do more with them!

      http://go.simplescrapper.com/crush

      Reply

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