MINDCRAFT On second thoughts...

This week in our Mindcraft series, Catherine Whitmore proves that our best work is born when we speak our truth. The heart beats the number of hours when it comes to quality. Don't let your second thoughts get in the way of getting your best work out there. 

I moved house last week. The house is full of boxes, and, randomly, flies. Internet is unreliable and I haven’t set my computer up. So, I honestly nearly didn’t write this article. Even emailing Gulfem to warn her I may not be able to deliver.


But that didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t feel very Life Coachy of me! So, I did a bit of self-coaching, and, in the absence of the headspace to write the article I had planned, I thought I’d share that with you.


Life Coaches who train with The Life Coach School are familiar with Brooke Castillo’s ‘The Model’. I won’t bore you with it now, but the bit that you need to know is that our thoughts generate our feelings which lead to us acting, or not acting, in certain ways.


When thinking about the commitment that I had made to write an article for Words & Pictures, I thought "I won’t be able to deliver something perfect". That thought made me feel defeated and so, not only did I not write an article, but I berated myself and, full of shame and guilt, wrote an apologetic email to the wonderful editorial team instead. The result? I didn’t deliver anything, perfect or not! That was the power of the thought "I won’t be able to deliver something perfect".


But what if I thought something else? I tried a few thoughts on for size, a veritable shopping spree. The one that landed for me was "I’ll deliver an article whether it’s perfect or not". That thought, in contrast, was motivating and, well, I’ve written this, perfectly imperfect article.


So, how often have you committed to writing, but had thoughts such as:

  • I haven’t got enough time to write.
  • I need to do more research on the impact of muck spreading on the fly population in rural Cheshire before I can write.
  • I have a pile of ironing that everyone expects me to do before I can do anything else.


And how often have these thoughts resulted in you not doing the things that you set out to do?


Take a second and pull the thread of your result, see which thought led you there.


Put the iron down and question why you are pressing pyjamas rather than creating the next bestseller.


Have your own little shopping spree. Try on a few alternative thoughts for size.


  • Five minutes is better than nothing.
  • Get the words down, research can come later.
  • I’ll honour my commitment to myself, kids look cute in a wrinkly nightie.

*Header image: in-house collaboration between Ell Rose and Tita Berredo




Catherine Whitmore is a mum and rarely-evil-step-mother from Greater Manchester. When not writing and life coaching, she enjoys family time (on the whole), Liane Moriarty and a boxset binge.


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact them at illustrators@britishscbwi.org


Tita Berredo is the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and the Art Director of Words & Pictures. Contact her at: illuscoordinator@britishscbwi.org

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