Stalled

There is such a thing as sitting on the fence too long

If you wait too long to make a choice to go to one side or the other

You might lose the impetus to move altogether

The impulse that got you up on the fence in the first place

Might die a quiet but painful little death

At the very least

You risk getting splinters in your bottom

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: fence

How to Move a Mountain

Every time I start a new project, I am terrified I will not be able to do it.

Every. Single. Time.

This terror is not my initial response. My first response is elation. Excitement. Passion. Thrill.

This is a delightful and short-lived phase of my process. Much sooner than I would like, the excitement and celebration morphs into abject doubt and fear.

Suddenly, I am overwhelmed by the work ahead of me. My mind makes it all seem like an enormous mountain that I am at the base of, seemingly without any equipment or wherewithal of how to surmount it. It is like some weird fog of “forgetting” comes over me and seduces me into believing that:

  1. I do not have any business embarking on this endeavor, and
  2. I do not have a clue as to how to do anything.

I am grateful to have a partner in life, my husband, who very fortunately has borne witness to my process over and over again. (He was actually the first person to point it out to me.)

While his reminder to me that this is “just a part of my process” does not in any way change my process, it does allow me to find somewhere within the knowing that “this too shall pass.” The knowing that this is not the end of my process. That this is actually letting me know, in a way, that I am on my way. As in, the fear and doubt kick in because I am entering into my creative process. It is a sign I am doing what I love.

That knowing makes moving through that phase a bit easier. Then I can recall, if need be, that I have felt this doubt and fear every time in the past. I can reference back and remember that every time in the past, I not only survived, but that I even succeeded in accomplishing what I took on in the end.

Awareness is everything, they say. That I have found to be true. If only awareness erased the anxiety! But I have found that only action alleviates the anxiety (to some degree.) I am lucky to have learned that as well.

My antidote to the fear and doubt is this: when it sets in, as it always will, I make sure to start the work right away. I begin the work NO MATTER WHAT, and as soon as possible, and I continue to work at it daily. I do it in chunks, and in this way, I navigate the treacherous waters of the part of me that wants to interfere with my creative endeavors.

The part of me that Steven Pressfield writes about valiantly fighting. If you are not familiar with his work, do yourself a favor and check him out. His books have been invaluable to me in my learning how to work with myself and my resistance.

And so I prevail. Not in spite of the resistance, but alongside it, through it, with it.

I am writing this as a reminder to myself as I have just begun a new project and after being very excited about it for a day or two, just about an hour ago, I got really scared and filled with doubt.

What the hell was I thinking? I cannot do THAT! I am not equipped. I cannot handle it. Reasons flood my mind as to why it was a bad idea. Dread filled my gut.

So what did I do? I took two actions in support of the project before I could fall into paralysis or start dreaming up ways to get myself out of the commitment. And I am writing this. And I am feeling somewhat better.

The jitters and the fear are still there, just waiting to take over. But for today, I have held them at bay and given more attention to my work. And somewhere in the mix I feel inside, there is a knowing.

After all, this is all just a part of my process. I am right where I supposed be.

The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.

Ancient Chinese Proverb

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt June 10, 2016: mountain

Starbucks Surrender

That’s perfectly fine.

I’m in no rush.

Go ahead and finish your conversation.

I mean, I’m just a customer in need of service.

There’s four of you behind that counter.

None of you are doing anything job-related.

Does Starbucks employ managers?

I think not.

Unless one of you is one of them.

Wow.

That’s a depressing thought.

I’ll just wait.

Send that Snapchat.

Read that text.

No need to bother yourself.

No need at all.

I’ll just work myself up into a lather,

And when you finally come over to me

And I let all hell loose on you,

You will treat me like I am the problem.

Maybe you’ll even report me to the manager-if-they-do-exist-at-all.

Not worth it.

I’m leaving and I won’t be back.

(Until next time.)

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: rush

Heads or Tails

I am often torn.

Making decisions is usually difficult for me. (See Cutting the Cord.)

I don’t know if it is because I am a Libra or what, but I can always see the benefits of all sides to a decision, and it makes it very hard to choose.

I do not particularly enjoy this part of my personality, though I do appreciate my ability to see more than just one side.

I also think a large contributing factor is my fear of making a mistake. What if I screw up my whole life because I choose wrong?

Yikes. Pressure much?

The past few years, I have been realizing that even in the past when I have made decisions that I felt were “wrong,” later on, they turned out to be “right” in some way. Even through what seemed like a real mistake, something necessary came from the experience.

The black and white thinking that a choice could have that much power over my existence…not sure where that comes from. But I know that I cannot – no, I will not – live like that anymore.

In the last year, I have made it a goal to stress less around decision-making. To just make the best decision I can with the info I have at the time that I am making it and to then “let the chips fall where they may.”

Easier said than done, but I have made some headway.

When I find myself feeling “torn” over the different options I am deciding between, I just stop myself and gently but firmly make myself take the leap in one direction.

Sometimes it has been anxiety-producing. And sometimes, very liberating.

It is always better than staying stuck (and torn) between options.

What are some ways that you make decisions that you feel work well?

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: torn

On Point

“I’m glad I am particular,” she said to no one in particular, giving herself one final look over in the mirror before going downstairs to join the others.

With a firm nod of approval at her reflection, she reached for her gloves, congratulating herself for having decided against wearing the new emerald green peacock and lace evening gown.

With a self-satisfied smile just barely gracing her lips, she set her face into its most attractive arrangement and started for the door and another successful evening.

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Post: particular