Herding Fish

coaching for artists and makers

Half Empty or Half Full?

6 February 2022

Thursday was Time to Talk Day 2022, which reminded me of a recent (random) tweet merrily declaring that ‘when your glass is half empty, you should get a friend to help you fill it up’. Sounds like a good enough plan, right? Sharing worries with friends and family is a great place to start.  But what if their glass is also half empty. Maybe they dropped it on a tiled floor one night in the middle of a pandemic. Maybe you have a bigger overall glass right now, and since it’s actually half full you really have nothing to worry about in comparison.

Comparisons are dangerous though and when our confidence is low, it can be harder to make ourselves heard, and understood. We summon the courage to share something and if it gets swept aside with helpful suggestions or our friend swops it for an issue of their own, we come away doubting ourselves even more.

Creatives are natural problem-solvers and love offering helpful solutions. Or we distract our loved one from their difficulties by reminding them of all the good stuff. But sometimes we really need to say out loud that Things Are Hard. And that’s ok. It’s very possible you have some good stuff going on, but having some shitty stuff as well makes it hard to get perspective.

So as spring starts to peek out at us in these early weeks of 2022 let’s give each other space to speak and to listen.


As a coach, I give clients space to talk and unravel their thoughts. We work mainly on creative practice, but we’re all humans, so other worries will present themselves too. But I’m not a qualified mental health professional. If you’re in crisis, please speak to your GP or one of the following: