Are you ready to get moving towards the life you love?
What kind of things are you dreaming of, and why aren’t you going after them?
Have you ever heard the phrase “Get out of your own way?”
How about “You are you own worst enemy?”
If you’ve struggled with this, like I have, please read on.
If you are feeling fulfilled and content, go on and enjoy your long weekend without me!
If you google these phrases you will find books, websites, etc. about how to stop self-sabotaging yourself.
It’s not like anyone sets out to block their own path, but somehow it happens…a lot. Think of how many times fear has stopped you from going after what you want. It could be fear of the unknown, fear of not being smart enough, fear of what other people might say or any number of other things that make you think, “I’m just going to settle here and make the best of it.” And the truth is that where you are may be OK, but you have a feeling there is something better out there.
I sometimes think I can’t do better because I’m too busy, too tired, or I don’t have a clear picture of how I’ll get from point A to B. So I give up for a while and try to make the best of things. However, I always eventually get restless and realize that there is more out there waiting for me. And I try to figure out the next step on the path, and sometimes I take the step, and sometimes I don’t. “Maybe next year,” I think, ” or when my youngest is in grade school, or when I win the lottery…”
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
So, let me tell you, I have been planning to/ dreaming of/ talking about going to graduate school for at least a decade, maybe longer. Back in my school days I did well and always fancied myself smarter than the average bear. I want to do positive, useful important things in this world, and I figured upping my education would be a great stepping stone. For years I researched schools, programs and careers. I also did a lot of soul searching, and had the hardest time making up my mind about what I should study. It got to the point where I was sick of hearing myself talk about it, and I felt like an expert in the subject of “what my options were.”
Maybe it was the self loathing creeping up, as in, “are you ever going to make a decision?” But, I finally narrowed down my choices and took some action.
I loved working in higher education, but I didn’t have the credentials to get the jobs I really wanted. I loved coaching, but was slow to build my network and find enough clients to pay the bills. So, I decided to combine the two…wouldn’t it be cool to counsel, coach and advise in a university setting? Um, yes!
So I applied to an online graduate program that was well rated and affordable. Then I took the GRE’s to torture myself and fulfill a requirement. Then I sent in my transcripts, personal statement and applied for financial aid. As I took each step, I said to myself, “well, we’ll see what happens.” I kept thinking that I could bail on this plan at any minute. I could always fail/ decline/ decide to go back to where I was before.
It got to the point where everything was in place, all the pieces came to together and now all I had to do was actually take the classes!
This should have been a point of pure joy. But, it wasn’t. Instead I freaked out! I thought to myself “I’m not smart enough”/ “I can’t make the financial investment”/ “I don’t have time for this”/ “Maybe I can become a professional dog walker instead.” I swear I’m telling the truth, and my heart was racing and I felt like my head was going to explode. So I decided to self-coach my way out.
Coach (me): Why do you think you aren’t smart enough?
Crisis (me): No reason, I just am afraid of taking graduate classes. What if I embarrass myself?
Coach (me): It seems more embarrassing to admit you won’t even try after jumping through all those hoops and talking about it to everyone you know.
Crisis (me): Good point. What if I go broke? College is expensive.
Coach (me): What if you never make what you’re worth and stay under-employed your whole life? Besides, you picked an affordable program after a million hours of research. You know there is no better deal out there.
Crisis (me): OK, you’re right, but I don’t really have time to take classes and study, etc.
Coach (me): Well maybe you need to get your act together and make it a priority. Actually response not fit for print. &^*%$#!!!
Crisis (me): But I really do love animals, if I were a dog walker I could spend time with pets and get exercise, too.
Coach (me): That may be true, but if you wanted to work with animals for a living, why haven’t you explored this option yet?
Crisis (me): Sigh…Because I know in my heart it would just be a diversion, but not using the best of my talents.
Yadda, yadda, yadda…you get the picture!
Well my friends, I have finally gotten my head out of my @#*, gotten over myself and resolved to move forward. I registered for classes, accepted financial aid, and come hell or high water, I’m going for it!
May you never again be your own worst enemy. If you aren’t sure, just re-read this post and check out these other great resources. If you plan it out, and think it through, you can do it!
Lifehack.org “Get out of your own way”
Psychology Today “5 ways to stop self-sabotaging yourself”
P.S. I have put time on the calendar to keep coaching, so let me know if you want to talk!