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You need to start seeing yourself as a bear

You need to start seeing yourself as a bear
By Elizabeth Filips • Issue #18 • View online
Heya, I’m back! I’ve genuinely missed this newsletter.
Today I’ve been thinking about our expectations for ourselves.
I tend to be (and be surrounded by) people with very high “ambitions”, plans and dreams. And there’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but what happens when things just don’t go our way?
I’m talking about events we can’t control. Illnesses. Family being unwell or needing us. A crying baby or flooded house.
I tend to be very inflexible with my expectations for myself. No matter what happens, how unlucky I am, how late a train was, that I have a migraine - I could’ve found a way to make my deadlines. If I tried harder, everything would be done in time and perfectly.
But, can it really?
I love this phrase:
The astounding thing about a waltzing bear is not how gracefully it waltzes but that it waltzes at all.
It’s made me see myself less as a potentially-perfect-robot who just needs to suck it up and get things done, and more as a disorganised mammal who surprisingly, despite it all, is still keeping it together.
If you’re on the end of the spectrum where you expect yourself to perform at a superhuman standard, it’s perhaps worth remembering that you, and me, are actually more like bears.
It is more amazing that we work hard when we do, than that we sometimes need a break.
And so, it helps to drive me back up that bell curve, towards a healthier, more average expectation of myself.
Thanks, Goldilocks :)
Wishing you a great week,
Elizabeth xx

Listen to Strong Opinions, Losely Held | Elizabeth Filips
🪄 Quote of the week
“The astounding thing about a waltzing bear is not how gracefully it waltzes but that it waltzes at all.“ 
— Time enough for love - Heinlein Robert
🖤 My Favourite Things This Week
Book - I’m re-reading Harry Potter. Just finished the Philosophers stone a few minutes ago and I’ve found myself smiling and feeling more warmth inside than I have in ages. I don’t think I’ve ever properly spoken about how obsessed I was with the world a child, and I don’t know why I just don’t keep reading them on repeat as an adult too. It just might happen.
Trying out reading this podcast! - I got the idea from Stephanie and I thought it was genius! Please let me know if it’s a fun way to “read” the newsletter! I think I’d love the option to lie in bed before I sleep and listen to a newsletter.
Song - Has anyone not been listening to this new Ed Sheeran song on repeat? It took me a while to warm to it, but I’m officially in love.
🐓 Not-so-great this week
My channel - I’m wondering how it will go now. How do I follow up a video announcement like that? I’m not sure what’s the right way or what content to do. Luckily work has been keeping me busy enough to be distracted, but I’ll need to properly plan something out soon.
Work - One of the issues working with a startup is the fact that my job role changes (literally and completely) every day. This week, it’s changed multiple times a day. It has forced me to be a bit more comfortable with uncertainty, although I’m sure that is just the sheer emotional exhaustion of months in this state. Here’s to hoping the next few weeks bring some clarity.
🎥 YouTube Videos this week
I'm leaving medical school
I'm leaving medical school
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Elizabeth Filips

Heya, I'm Elizabeth, a medical student and painter in London. Some Sundays I write about exploring meaning, productivity, little pleasures and just navigating life. And some of my favourite things that week.

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