Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Discoveries

It's been an interesting week. My daughter is considering changing graduate schools (and leaving the city where I live). I've been fielding calls from her all week as she visits a couple of schools and pointing out to her that there are no bad choices here. Whatever choice she makes she'll do wonderful research, get a degree and have jobs waiting for her when she's done. And I see reflected in her worries how I used to be—terrified that I'd make the wrong decision and needing to try to imagine every possible contingency SO I COULD GET IT RIGHT.

I mention all of this because just posting my list last week seems to have had a profound impact on me. I'm late, for example, getting this post written because I've been working out the logistics of offering several online writing classes over the next month or two—instead of just setting up one as I would have in the past. And I've needed to get out the word to various writer's groups plus post it to my website and writer's blog. The interesting thing about that is...

When I felt the old fears that I wasn't worthy of the price (quite reasonable) for the classes, I was able to set aside the fear knowing that what I have to offer is actually worth far more than what I charge.

Just acknowledging a new perspective on who I am seems to be opening up ideas I hadn't had before. And I find myself moving from needing to GET IT RIGHT to being willing to take action and risk that I'll make mistakes or even—horrors!—possibly fail.

I'm recognizing—but not beating myself up over—those moments when I start to fall into old patterns AND I'm recognizing the way old thinking created those old patterns, some of which I hadn't realized were there.

I've known for a long time, but I'm seeing it more clearly this week, that anything we do we are likely to do better if we do it from a position of knowing our own talents and strengths. It is when we feel most secure that paradoxically we are freest to ask others for help, be willing to ask for advice and even risk failure by trying new things or things we're not sure we can do. It is when we feel safest that we can risk getting rid of walls around ourselves and move out of our comfort zones and really LIVE—rather than just trying to survive.

I'm finding that I can listen to someone's opinion of me and consider whether it's a) valid, b) has information that might be useful to me and c) still feel sure of my own self-worth. That's a huge change from how I lived most of my life when I felt so desperately dependent on the approval of others. Instead of asking myself what others will think, I'm asking myself what I think and what I want.

Granted, I have been moving in this direction for a long time. Making that list and posting it, however, still seems to have caused a far bigger shift than I would have expected. So I'm going to encourage all of you to make your own lists of who you are—or who you could be if you could let go of all your fears and became the person you were meant to be. What is your vision for yourself? Maybe PLAY with the idea! Your list isn't and won't be set in stone. What makes your list today might not match what makes your list a year from now as you discover new possibilities and what you really do and don't like. But it's a starting point, a way to move yourself into a new way of being and of seeing who you are and who you can become. I knew making the list for myself was a good idea but I'm still a bit stunned by the power it's having on my life this quickly.

Sending blessing and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

6 comments:

jumpinginpuddles said...

i think the list is a good idea and i believe will change as you make changes in your life

Enola said...

Great post. Made me think about my risk behavior as of late

mile191 said...

when you said: I'm recognizing—but not beating myself up over—those moments when I start to fall into old patterns AND I'm recognizing the way old thinking created those old patterns, some of which I hadn't realized were there.

wow. very powerful post. thanks for sharing you with us.

Teresa Lynne said...

Great post. I could relate about the writing part as well as your daughter. You show a lot of strength!

Kahless said...

The thought of trying to write a list like scares me.

April_optimist said...

JIP, Yes, the list will change and I'll have fun creating a new one when it does!

Enola, Thank you.

Mile 191, I feel like a slow learner that it took me this long to get to this point but hey, better late than never!

Teresa Lynne, Thank you.

Kahless, It can feel scary at first but then it's like stepping out into the sunshine!