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Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Posted Jun 09 2008 6:14pm
I realize that, once again, it's been awhile since I've posted anything. One of the last times I wrote, I talked about the idea of Getting Your Priorities Straight. In that post, I indicated that as of June 1, my life would be significantly less chaotic. As of June 1, I was supposed to have a job, my dissertation was supposed to be completed and I was supposed to be finished designing my online statistics course. It all sounded fantastic in theory; however, the reality of the situation was much different than I had anticipated. As of June 1, my chair signed off on my dissertation, but just a few days later one of my readers decided that there should be changes made. As of June 1, the job that I was most interested in rejected me and the job that I was hesitant about made me an offer. And as of June 1, the faculty member that was supposed to give me feedback on my online course still had not given me any revisions on my work. So, clearly things were not going according to plan and that, my friends, stresses me out like crazy.

Change is very difficult for me and always has been. So the fact that nothing was going according to plan was tough. Throw on top of that the fact that my entire life is changing big time in the next 3-12 months (e.g. - graduation, total financial responsibility, getting married, having a morgage for the first time, yada, yada) and I have pretty much been a wreck. I've been having nightmares (always a sign for me that I'm not handling my stress well), crying WAY more than usual, feeling sad/blah and being pissy with my unconditionally understanding and sweet fiance. NOT GOOD. I had a bunch of decisions to make, nothing was certain, everything was in flux and it was taking a toll on me, to say the least. But today I believe I reached a turning point....

Today I accepted the job I still have reservations about. I was scared to death to take it, fearing that it would be too stressful, too much time, not enough money, but I was sick of feeling the way I was...so I accepted the offer. That was Decision One. After I accepted the offer, I felt like a weight had been lifted. Suddenly I had the motivation and energy to do all of the things that I had been putting off, like laundry, cleaning...and my blog. As I was doing the laundry, I was thinking about what I wanted to write. I realized that I wanted to write the truth...that I've been struggling and feeling incredibly flawed. That I haven't been adhereing to any of the stress/time management techniques that I write about on this blog. That at times during the last couple of months, I felt like a fraud even writing anything. Who am I to offer advice about staying calm, keeping perspective and reducing stress when there have been many nights where I've been reduced to a crying mess?? And to think of telling everyone that...revealing my weaknesses and being authentic...what a scary thing. This was Decision Two and clearly, you know what I decided.

I AM NOT PERFECT. I don't know how many times I'm going to need to tell myself that over the course of my life time, but apparently I need to hear it a bit more. I AM NOT PERFECT. What scares me more than not being perfect though is letting everyone else know that I am not perfect. Sometimes I get frustrated because I work on myself so much - my profession requires that of me - but then I expect, unconsciously of course, to be perfect. "If I'm working this hard, surely at some point in time this won't be an issue for me." But maybe that's just not true. Maybe we work and we get better, but our soft spots will always be there and they'll sneak up on us from time to time. So today was a valuable lesson in something that I've known for a long time and tell my clients all the time: feel the fear and do it anyway. I am still very scared of this job and what it will demand of me, but I took it anyway. I felt - no scratch that - I FEEL very vulnerable writing all of this, but I'm doing it anyway. I am not perfect and I never will be regardless of how much time I spend self-reflecting or reading thought-provoking books. The only thing that I can do is keep working towards my highest self knowing full well that there will be days, weeks and hell, sometimes even months where I won't be my highest self...I'll just be good ol' me. But I'll keep trying anyway. Check out Martina McBride's song "Do It Anyway" that inspires me whenever I struggle with this huge challenge...enjoy :)
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