# Notes to Myself: Lessons Learned & Shared Advice
>[!example] 23 June 2023 #blog
I'm starting to think I should call my blog 'notes to myself'.
After all, everything I write about is something that I want to remember. It is something *I* want to understand. A way for *me* to process what I have experienced, read or thought. Hence, they become notes to *my*self.
And yet, they are also notes to you. Advice that I would pass on to my friends. Thoughts that I would share with those I love. The guidance I would give to help those who need it.
This week I have saved three 'notes to myself' that I would like to share with you.
%%[[do not confuse capacity with capability]]%%
## 1. Do not confuse capacity with capability
The lovely Caroline Toshack [shared a post on Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/p/CtpQjhvIiBp/?igshid=Y2IzZGU1MTFhOQ%3D%3D) about not confusing capacity with capability. And it struck a chord with me.
"Capacity to cope" is a term many of my previous clients became accustomed to hearing.
Capacity means that we cannot do something right now. Our cup is way too full. Our battery is drained. We do not have the space to deal with whatever is happening, even if we think we should.
But as Caroline points out so eloquently,
> "Just because you are capable, it does not necessarily mean you have the capacity right now.
> And just because you do not have the capacity right now, it does not mean that you aren’t capable."
Note to myself - Saved!
%%[[fail quicker]] %%
## 2. Fail quicker
During a conversation with a friend this week, she shared some advice that she had been given.
If you are failing, then you are trying new things. You are learning and pushing yourself. You are doing something you've never done before
I wish I had [[Learning How to Let Go|heard this advice earlier]]. Because for years, I knew something wasn't right. But I didn't want to fail.
Now I see if I had failed quicker, I would have been doing the things I love a lot sooner. And yet I was holding onto something I didn't even want because I was so afraid to fail.
So whatever it is you're scared of failing – do it. And fail quicker. That way, you will have more lessons learned, more life lived and more time to do what actually matters.
%% [[turn the spotlight]] %%
## 3. Turn the spotlight
%% [[Unbound by Kasia Urbaniak]] %%
Last week I finished reading Unbound by Kasia Urbaniak. In fact, I have listened to it on audio as well as read the book in full. There are so many gems in this book. It's perfect for those of us who struggle with speaking or navigating conversations and conflict.
It's also great to help deal with the anxiety of social situations.
In the book, she gives a single piece of advice for when you are put on the spot. You know, when someone asks you a question or makes a comment, and you feel like you *have* to reply.
Well, Kasia's advice is to control the flow of attention. How do we do this? By asking *them* a question. This way, they are the ones in the spotlight.
> "The next time you find yourself speechless and on the spot, opening and closing your mouth like a goldfish without the slightest idea what to do or say next — Ask a question.
> Don’t explain yourself; don’t justify your position — simply ask the other person a question about themselves.
> ...A single question will break the freeze."
I have used this technique over and over again this week. And it works. It has given me confidence and helped shift my anxiety.
It's stopped me from feeling put on the spot and allowed me to change my perception of what I can do about it.
Not every time, granted. But the more I practice, the more I play with shifting the attention, the more I can think clearly.
So someone asks me a question or asks for my advice.
Old me would have tried to find the right words to say or to fix their situation (which I can't, by the way).
New me panics for a split second, takes a breath and then shifts the spotlight by asking a question back.
%%[[Time To Think by Nancy Kline]] %%
And if I'm honest, this links to what Nancy Kline says in her book 'Time to Think', that the person in front of you already has the answers they need anyway.
%% [[usually the brain that contains the problem also contains the best solution]]%%
> "The next time someone asks for your help with a problem, remember that the brain that contains the problem probably also contains the solution. Then set up the conditions for them to find it."
What notes to self have you made this week – mental or written? What advice did you hear that you want your future self to remember? I'd really love to know.