I’m writing to you this morning from my new coworking space. It’s a trendy warehouse setup with modern art and pop music playing. I tend to choose a seat in front of a warped painting of Michael Jackson that creeps me out so that I keep my eyes on my work.
I also want to let you know that it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get here. Granted it was only a 35 minute drive but the walk out of my front door was quite a struggle.
I felt a bit (read: a lot) of resistance about coming here today. I haven’t been here since… holy cow! The first week of February? Is that right? Eeesh…
I’ve been battling some serious sinus issues for the past 6 weeks and I’ve been super protective of my energy to get Holistic Wealth School out there so it often felt like a bad idea to leave my home office. (Excuses, excuses…)
And then I finally felt better, went on an amazing business retreat, and came home with an introvert hangover that lasted a solid 10 days, plus a revisit of my sinus ailments.
I finally felt normal yesterday and decided it was time to get back to the coworking space and out of my comfort zone because, well, you know – that’s where the growth is.
This was NOT easy.
These are the thoughts that came up:
“It might rain. I shouldn’t drive on I95 in the rain.”
“I’m going to want to go to Trader Joe’s afterwards and I’ll buy more groceries than I need.”
“I’m going to have to fill my gas tank up sooner and that’s annoying.”
“What if I have to poop?”
“My ex texted me. Should I be processing that?”
“I’m going to spend over an hour in the car round-trip. Is that really a good use of my time?”
“It’s getting later and later. I’ll be hungry when I get there. Will I leave for lunch and actually come back?”
“Am I going to have to socialize? I don’t want to do that.”
“My dogs just got home. They want to spend time with me.”
“What if something actually kills me? How will I email my mailing list today if I’m dead?”
Call them cons if you want, but in my core, I knew they were really excuses.
In the past, I would have lined up those costs with some benefits to try and balance things out.
I’ll be surrounded by working people rather than dogs seeking my attention all day.
I do need to get down to pick up some items at Trader Joe’s anyway.
I would very much enjoy lunch at The Chickpea down there (it’s like a Mediterranean Chipotle AKA heaven on earth).
On the way down, I’ll get to blast that awesome new playlist in my car.
Am I here because those pros outweigh the cons? Not quite. I knew the pros could be seen as a bunch of excuses, too.
I could go through a pros/cons list all day, hemming and hawing until the day passed me by, not taking any action intentionally.
So, what gives? What got me in the car, on the road, and walking inside the building?
Me trying to embody the person I want to be, taking the action that my ideal self, in all her brilliant glory, would take.
I took a step back and thought “Which action would I be most proud of afterwards: staying home, maybe keeping my office door closed, feeling like the walls are closing in on me OR shooting this resistance down and getting my butt to the coworking space and sharing my message with the world?”
I used to believe that we are either victims or survivors. Now I believe that we can uplevel to be creators. We can create the lives and identities we want independent of our pasts, our circumstances, and our fears.
I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t even want to be somebody that just survives. I don’t want to be somebody that lives in fear. I don’t want to be somebody who complains about my circumstances when there is so much opportunity around me. I don’t want to be somebody who feels like the things I want aren’t meant to be.
So I’m not (on most days obvs).
I spent almost 10 years in a corporate job that tried to teach me that this was as good as it would get. And it was pretty good – don’t get me wrong – I was happy there most of the time.
But I wanted more out of life than working almost 60 hours/week with a bunch of people who were making a lot more money than I was (and I was making pretty good money!) and still stressed, financially and otherwise.
Our fears are always seeking validation. Sometimes those fears come from other people, sometimes they come from other identities inside of ourselves.
I can think and feel my fears, but I don’t have to BE them.
I recently tried picturing my fears impersonated by somebody I don’t want to be: a middle-aged white man in a fancy, fitted suit with monogrammed cufflinks who defines winning as watching other people lose. He’s an arrogant, low-vibe bully who thinks he knows everything and condescendingly mansplains how the world works to me.
“You can’t and let me explain why,” he says, just like they said to me when I got out of $50k of debt prematurely, when I quit my job, when I created The Holistic Wallet, when I balanced the ways I make a living with actually living my life.
I’ve been told I’m a naive idealist and sometimes I believe them. And then I look around my life and think, “But, wait, I’ve done it. Therefore I will keep doing it.”
So to your fear that tells you that you’ll never get out of debt, that you’ll never make enough money, that you’ll always be lacking something, that the economy just isn’t going to work in your favor because you’re not in the 1% and the system is rigged against you.
Look that fear in the face and say “WATCH ME.”
And your fear will smirk condescendingly, maybe even laugh in your face. Your fear will not scatter; he will accept your challenge and hang around and watch, sitting back in his ergonomic leather chair with his arms crossed, entertained by your ambition.
You’ll feel both determined and intimidated because your pride is on the line.
And you’ll hear him in your head and you’ll wonder: “What if I actually fail? What if they’re right after all? Am I delusional?”
Well, when you’re scared and skeptical, just think of me, the introverted online business owner who escaped the corporate world with zero debt and 12 months of living expenses saved…
…even though she only made an itty-bitty fraction of the salaries of all the naysayers around her…
…who has had to be more social, public, and vulnerable than she ever could have expected…
…but shows up and does it every day because she gets to financially enlighten people all over the country (and parts of Europe and the land down under)…
…and write thought-provoking stuff and teach and play with spreadsheets and financial calculators and play with her dogs and their stinky toys and eat a well-balanced diet and make new friends who encourage her to grow instead of validating their own fears.
I’ve done it and I keep doing it and I’m not the only one.
If your fear wasn’t keeping you down, what would you be doing right now? Comment below and let me know so I can cheer you on!