*I’m still processing Blissdom, so many thoughts, ideas and things to review before getting anything out on paper, er, in posts. I doubt I’ll do a recap, but wanted to spend some time digging in.*
“Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
This is the mantra that plays on repeat every time I find myself at the crossroads of uncertainty, on the edge of fear or barely holding on in a fit of anxiety. It’s the words that pushed me over the edge into “realistic” and “logical” rather than “heartfelt” and “emotional”. It was the, I don’t have to be scared anymore because I’m ready for the failure. The words held tight to my chest every time I wanted something I wasn’t sure I’d get, let alone deserve.
Prior to the moment of reckoning, you’d find me doubting my very being, my worth, my potential… spinning out webs of excuses that would quickly allow me to push the disappointment and shame away – out of my control.
To myself: You don’t have enough experience. You haven’t lost the weight. You aren’t outgoing enough. You don’t deserve it. You’re not smart enough. They don’t like you. You didn’t put in enough work. You’ll never be that person. Don’t bother with this again.
To Everyone Else: It was a long shot. Oh well, at least a tried. Bummer. I don’t care. Wasn’t the right fit. Wasn’t meant to be. Guess there’s something better out there.
It didn’t matter what it was. It didn’t matter what my odds were of it happening. The variable didn’t matter because it didn’t change the way I thought, the way I prepared or how scared I was of not only letting myself down, but more so, letting everyone else down and allowing them to see me fail.
And, if I did fail, I spiraled into despair, doubt and self-loathing. But, at least I’d prepared myself for it, right? At least, I knew what to expect when and if it happened. What I decidedly was not spending my time on, what I didn’t allow myself to focus on was the possibility that I had the right and the ability to be successful. I wasn’t spending a much time dreaming, hoping and believing.
This is where Jon Acuff’s words from Blissdom hit me in the heart. He said:
Many believe that if we’re apathetic we won’t get hurt. But, if you prepare for the worst, and it happens – you’ve got to experience it twice.
Instead of enjoying the anticipation, relishing the possibility of success – I was drowning in failure before it ever had a chance to happen. I was dragging my heart through the gutter and judging myself far worse than those I was scared to disappoint.
All this to say, that adage I’ve told myself for 26 years, it needs to go out the window. It needs to find its final resting place in my mind and allow the energy I’ve wasted to be replaced by the mystery and joy in waiting to see what happens. It just so happens that this change in thought coincides with my goals for the year – living a more authentic and intentional life. How can I enjoy this moment or season of my life if I’m always wrapped up in fear and dwelling on that which lies just beyond my power?
All, change, especially big change doesn’t happen in a declaration, it happens in baby steps and ups or downs. In this case, its starting with a new mantra and giving myself a little grace. Giving myself permission to see what happens and be ok with the outcome… to just, simply, enjoy the ride.