On New Year’s Eve, after the ball dropped on television, and we all toasted with our champagne (the kids had soda). After we clinked glasses, and exchanged hugs and kisses, I was asked a very interesting question by Kristen, a dear friend of mine.
“What are you letting go in 2008?”
Now, I have been asked what my resolutions are (I call them Goals), if I think there is anything positive to look forward to, etc., given the current economic times, all the bad stuff happening in the world, but never have I been asked this question.
"What are you letting go in 2008?"
Hmmm. I had to think about it for a minute, but I did come up with an answer.
I am letting go of the fear holding me back from me realizing my dreams and my own happiness. I am letting go of the fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of what everyone will think of me, the fear of nobody noticing the great things I accomplish in this new year, the fear of staying stuck in a job I keep only to pay the bills, and the fear of letting that job go to become a writer full-time and giving up that so-called sense of security that a steady paycheck with health benefits brings, even at the cost of my own soul. The fear I somehow don’t deserve to be happy or have success or financial freedom.
Fear is the biggest obstacle I have created for myself and it will be the hardest one to disassemble and destroy.
I have a fear of spiders, which I probably won’t get over. I will try to avoid them as much as possible in 2009.
I have a fear of riding motorcycles. Actually, it stems from a 3-wheeler accident I was in when I was 15 years old. That is one I intend to work on this year, since it would be nice to ride with my honey on the motorcycle, either as a passenger with him or on my own.
My dear friend/coach/mentor, Beth Ann Erickson, overcame that fear this last summer. She bought a scooter for herself and her husband, and she took a motorcycle safety course to obtain her permit and license to ride. In the State of Minnesota, if the scooter is able to reach speeds up to 55 mph, then you need a motorcycle license to ride them legally on the roadways, especially if you are going down a highway.
She and her son took the course together. She was not about to quit since she was setting an example for her son, and she really wanted to ride that scooter to the lake near her home. Her biggest fear was the fear of an accident.
Guess what? It happened! Her husband was following her on his scooter during a drive and ran into her and the scooter.
Her greatest fear realized! Oh, no! This is why you don’t take risks, why you play it safe! See? Bad things happen when you throw caution to the wind and are willing to take a chance instead of sitting on the bench! Her family told her to get rid of the scooter, because that’s why she got hurt. She asked them if she should get rid of her husband too, since he was the one riding the scooter that hit her! J
What did Beth do?
Once her knee was better (just a bad sprain, really), and the scooter was repaired, she got right back up on the scooter and went for a drive.
Beth is the one who got me thinking about fear in the first place. “If you’re not doing something that scares you a little each day, you aren’t really living,” is what she said in one of her newsletters.
“Feel the Fear and do it anyway,” is a favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. When you do that you overcome the fear that is holding you back.
I remember the first time I tried riding a bicycle with no training wheels. I was terrified. I fell, over and over and over again. My knees looked like ground chuck before I was done, but the fear was replaced with the determination to keep trying and not give up. Just one more time, one more try, one more push. Down I went, and back up I went. All day long. Until, I finally did it. I rode that bicycle, balancing on the two tires. And the rest is history. Soon, I tried with “No Hands” and was balancing and riding my bicycle with the just the power of my legs. I’m sure if I were younger, I would have tried popping a “wheelie”.
I have allowed fear to rule my life for so long. I have procrastinated and delayed my happiness because it wasn’t what was expected of me. Me, be a writer? Me, be successful and make a great living at writing? Ha! Stop daydreaming and get back to your “REAL JOB”. Stop being so SELFISH!! You have a degree, why aren’t you using that?
The truth is, my “REAL JOB” sucks!!! It pays the bills, yes, and I am grateful that I still have that paycheck coming every other week, but I have no sense of purpose. I have nothing that makes that job fun. I feel my self and my soul dying a little every day I go to work. I shut off my true self and become this “zombie” that just goes through the motions until it’s time to go home.
I have been told that I don’t work well with others, that I have an “anger management” problem, an attitude problem, that I am replaceable at a moment’s notice and that all the years I have spent sacrificing and working for the betterment of the company is not as important as the bottom line. And there is no sense of “team” effort. Nobody helps anyone else out, but they expect help when they need it.
For example, at work we have a new coffee maker in the break room. If you forget to shut off the warmer, it stays on and the coffee gets all burnt in the bottom, and that is not pleasant. The old coffee maker had an automatic shut-off. My shift, Second Shift, is the only shift that drinks coffee. There are three of us. I guess the darn thing was left on a couple of nights in a row, and instead of just saying, “Hey, you might want to shut that off before you go,” I was scolded by a supervisor that if the coffee maker was not shut off in the break room, then he was going to recommend that it be taken away.
Really? Why not just shut it off if you see it was left on?
“Not my responsibility, we don’t drink coffee on our shift, and blah, blah, blah.”
Seriously! Heaven forbid you take a second of your time to do something for someone else. They nitpick over every little thing. If we don’t make enough boxes, or there’s a part on the floor, or the coffee maker was not shut off, then watch out!! Why?
They can’t do something nice for someone else just BECAUSE!! They are AFRAID that nobody will do something nice for THEM IN RETURN!! Does there really have to be a PAYBACK every time you show KINDNESS?? I’ve always thought being Kind was it’s own reward.
Some days when this stuff happens, I just want to tell them all to GROW UP and walk out. I have fantasies of just leaving. But I don’t.
The fear keeps me going back there. The fear of no money coming in, and the fear of no health benefits. What if I get sick? No health insurance? Can you say “Financial Suicide”? At least I’m getting a paycheck, but like I said, is it worth my soul?
No, there is a time for everything. When it is time, I will know. When I have a few things in place and established, the day will come when I will give my 2-week notice and be gone from the factory forever. Then the responsibility of the coffee maker will fall to another soul. In the meantime, I’ve decided to donate an air pot to put the coffee in when we make a pot of coffee and that will solve the problem of the coffee maker being left on. Make the coffee, put it in the air pot and then shut the silly thing off. Done.
So, this year will be the year I “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
If I fall flat on my face, I’ll get right back up. If I determine a better way, I’ll take that path. I’ll have multiple streams of income in place so I don’t have to depend on a paycheck every other week. I will do what it takes to succeed, and if I have to fail a million times to get there, then I’d better get busy! The last 15 days flew by while my son was home, and I have a new year ahead of me, but I know that will go by fast and before I know it, I will be writing another Happy New Year post in here again.
I hereby declare that 2009 is going to be Super-Fine for Me & Mine!!
May blessings and abundance be with you all in this New Year!
And may you all “feel the fear and do it anyway!”