Getting out of my own way

by Ginger on June 14, 2010

in Becoming Myself

After this weekend, I’m more motivated than ever to start changing up my life. I’ve been wanting some changes for a while, but have, for a variety of reasons, put them off or dragged them out. After the news this weekend I realize with crystal clear clarity that life is too fucking short and fragile to not be happy, do what you love and spend it the way you want to.

So. Now instead of taking the slow and steady approach to change I normally do, I’m in the mood to fast-track. Which, for me, means facing and tearing down the roadblocks I put up for myself when facing big, life altering choices. To get myself to where I want to be, I’m going to have to get past these key issues:

  1. An aversion to risk. I have always, ALWAYS, been a person who is afraid of risk. I am not a risk-tolerant person. Even my big “risky” moves across the country, weren’t really that risky. I am a corporate drone because it is safe. I follow the rules because it is stable. I feel like I can’t take risks because I’ve got to pay bills, have insurance, need a guaranteed job, etc. And yet. And yet, and yet and yet. Sometimes, when you’re confronting life that is unhappy (but safe) or happy (but risky)–well, risk is starting to sound much more appealing. I can always find a way to pay my bills. I am not going to let my family starve, or end up living in my mom’s spare bedroom. But I can’t always let my happiness and fulfillment fall at the feet of what’s safe.
  2. A fear of not being good enough. I’ve always been rather…average. I’ve never been the bottom of the heap, but I’m rarely at the top either. I’m not super witty, funny, charming, outgoing, smart, gifted, talented, etc.etc. I’m a good, solid, middle of the road person, but middle of the road is often not enough for the kinds of things I dream up. Coupled with my risk aversion, my fear of not being good enough at the things I want to do has held me at bay for a long time. It’s easier to stay where I am, where I know I’m OK, than it is to put myself out there and be faced with the reality that I don’t have what it takes. But honestly, I’m strong enough to face rejection. I’ve got enough support to face the struggle. I would rather TRY and not be enough than not try.
  3. An almost obsessive need to have EVERY.LITTLE.DETAIL. in place before I can so much as begin. Maybe it’s my years of marketing plans that require every little piece to be in place before you launch. Maybe it’s the obsessive, detail person in me coming out. Or maybe it’s just a stall tactic. But I always feel like I have to have every little tiny thing worked out before I can begin. I have to have it perfect before I can let it go into the world. Which has its place, admittedly. I’m never going to get rid of that impulse entirely. But at the same time, there are instances where just jumping in and figuring it out along the way can be a better solution. Like when you’re aching for a change in your life. Maybe now is the time to just throw some of this out into the universe and figure out the little details as I go.
  4. The feeling that I have to be the grown-up. I love my husband. I love that he is creative, and that he thinks outside the box, and that he is so creative and energetic about building his career. And I have fully supported him–it was my insistence that he freelance full time, because that is what he needs. BUT. I sometimes feel like because he is a freelancer, and an artist and a “non-traditional worker” that I have to be the grown-up all the time. By that I mean I feel like I have to be the one to maintain the stability of a traditional job. Which, in this economy, has meant in part that I feel trapped in my current job because it’s not like career or industry changes are all that easy in this market. And in San Diego? Yeah, not so hot. But honestly, that’s a load of shit. N.C. doesn’t expect me to be the slave in our relationship so that he can “play”–he would be the first person to tell you that I should go after my dreams and that we’ll find a way to make things work–but I put that on myself. I mean, we have a kid now, we can’t just be running willy-nilly after our dreams without someone having a stable career. Can we? You know what though? We can. I can. I can go after my fulfillment just like he went after his and we’ll figure out how to make it work. We will.

I’ve been feeling some of this for a while, but this weekend’s news really put a big giant spotlight on it–this is my one and only life. This is it. If I’m not happy, that’s not good for me. It’s not good for my family, it’s not good for Jackson. If I want something different for my life, I am the ONLY person who can make it happen. Which means I need to get out of my own way, tear down those stupid roadblocks, and just jump in. Here’s to a life that makes me happy and fulfilled and that’s worth looking forward to. Because only I can make it that way.

What about you? What roadblocks are YOU putting in the way of your happiness?

As always, more lists can be found over at Anna’s at abdpbt!

Alias Mother June 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Yes to all of these, but YES YES YES to #4. My husband is self-employed, which means that I always feel tied to the responsible job with the benefits and the scheduled pay raises and the blah blah blah. My job? Is it not good for me. Actually, any office job is not good for me. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours plays upon my weakest tendencies and wastes some of my greater ones. And yet? I feel I must stay for the insurance.

I’m letting insurance agents run my life! Pathetic!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks June 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I love this list … sounds like it’s just what you need to push yourself and that’s great. I learned pretty early on, I wasn’t willing to sell my soul to the corporate devil. So, I quit my high-paying, fast-track job that required me to travel 80% of the week and work insanely long hours in exchange for the job I have now. It’s not glamorous. But, it challenges me and I love my boss and I love even more the balance I have in my life as a result. I might be making half of what I could’ve made had I stuck with my previous job, but I have all my sanity, which is priceless!

Perpetua June 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

This is super-exciting. I know it’s motivated by a very difficult and sad event, but it’s still a good thing to be looking toward the future and figuring out what you really want.

oilandgarlic February 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Again, late to comment, but did you ever take that big risk or risks? I’m so similar to you — the stable adult married to the freelancer — that I am very curious about how you “got out of your own way”. My 2012 resolution is to tackle my fears which definitely include addressing my many risk aversions.

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