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Oh hello real world.

Posted Jul 08 2011 7:39am


I had a realization the other morning.

After I hit snooze 3 times, slowly mosied on over to the shower, let the hot water drip down my face and thought “Shit. I’m in the real world now.

I knew this day was coming soon. I mean I spent 4 years of grad school preparing for this very moment that I would be out in the field doing the work I’m passionate about. Four long, tireless years I spent perfecting my knowledge, skills, and abilities in psychology. I spent countless hours prepping, learning, reading, writing, absorbing every bit of information related to school psychology. Everything to get me to the exact place I am in today.

So why am I scared to take these first steps?

Why are many of us scared to start new things?

Perhaps we’re scared we’ll screw up. We’ll do something “stupid,” put our foot in our mouth, or offend someone unknowingly. If you’re a perfectionist like me you might cringe at the thought of completely botching a task, failing to get a project done on time, or worse yet disappointing someone.

Maybe we’re worried we won’t live up to the high expectations. What if my boss thought I’d be better based on my application? Am I really everything I claimed I was? Can I do everything they ask of me with flying colors? Am I the clinician these people need?

In other words, can I truly be the best version of myself?

Sometimes I think it’s hard to get what we wished for. Finally get the “dream job.”

It’s like when you’re a kid and actually get the present you’ve been dreaming about for months. You rip open the present to reveal the new doll you saw in countless commercials. Finally it’s YOUR turn to play with her, change her outfits just like the little girls on tv did.

But soon you realize the toy isn’t quite as shiny and fun as the commercials made it out to be. Her hair doesn’t actually change color as easily. The doll’s limbs are pretty stiff and those painted on eyes look a lot more lifeless in person. So should you throw the doll out because she didn’t exactly fulfill your every desire or just make it work?

New beginnings are never easy nor as seamless as our minds have fantasized them out to be. That’s because our fantasies don’t ever integrate all the little details and everyday hurdles we inevitably face when pushing ourselves further.

The reality is we will screw up.

Someone will take something we said the wrong way.

Mistakes will happen.

And when those things happen you might feel like shit. You might cry for longer than you care to remember. You might want to quit your job. You might want to leave town and randomly book a flight to Thailand just to get away. Not that any of those things have happened to me or anything….

But here’s the catch: How do you learn from all those mistakes? How do you not let those setbacks hinder you from becoming the best version of yourself? How do you not let those incidents muddle your love for what you do?


So my questions to you are: How do you face new challenges? How do you push through those beginning fears? How do you regain your inner confidence?

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