Containers. They’re what separate the toilet bowl from the bathroom floor.
If you don’t have your shit together, your life likely lacks good containment.
A good container will make it clear what a space is intended for.
Some containers are implicit. (Most of us don’t wash our hands in the toilet and shit in the sink.)
Some are explicit. (“This bathroom for watersports only. Please sanitize and shower after sinisterly showering.”)
When it comes to creating psychological safety, explicit containers shine.
They tell you what to expect and what not to expect. This reduces uncertainty and focuses creativity.
With the right combination of agreements, you will feel safe and excited at the same time.
Good containers lead you to lean into your edges and support you with whatever comes up.
You know you’re in a well held container when you attend an event that triggers you, invites you to process that trigger, and then witnesses and celebrates the person you evolve into.
Poor containers lack clarity around what’s appropriate or expected. They lead to more defensiveness and less vulnerability because it’s unclear whether you will be praised or punished for your actions.
When it’s unclear if the container (or the people holding the container) can lovingly hold you, you’re left to hold yourself.
That often translates to holding yourself back. (Or passive aggressively shitting in the sink because nobody mentioned otherwise in the agreements.)
Now let’s bring this back to the realm of content creation.
As content creators we are holding the container for ourselves and our audience whether we recognize it or not. Yet most of us don’t consciously create that container.
We publish onto a platform that has its implicit and explicit rules and then let whatever happens happen.
When I think of writing for this environment, it causes me to worry about the myriad of negative outcomes (punishments) that may come from sharing my writing.
I either hold myself back because I’m not sure I can lovingly hold myself through this process.
Or, I strive for perfection to minimize the possibility of ending up in a shame spiral afterward.
Creating perfection is much harder than simply expressing an idea I found valuable, so the pressure mounts until what could have been a joyful act of creation becomes a self-loathing abomination.
Lost in all this emotional turmoil is the reason for writing in the first place.
Luckily for us, this is exactly the kind of problem that can be solved with a well held container.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to create next.
To be continued…