Start Small (Your Hang-Ups)

Do you ever get hung up—like stuck, stuck, stuck and you know you need to move through your hang-ups if you're ever going to achieve all of the things? But how? Well, I've been there. In fact, I'm currently there. And, here's what I'm learning... 

Three and a half years ago I leaped. While it wasn't a first in making an enormous, life-altering shift, it was by far the most significant to-date. Leaving the non-profit world behind after fourteen years within its bounds, I found myself wandering an unknown road to finish my first book and apparently, start a couple of companies. Oh, the things you learn along the way...

I write today very much still within the process of "along the way." After all, as of this moment, I'm maneuvering this road, asking questions and studying myself in the mirror most days thinking, "This is wonderful and terrible all at once." Building new pathways for connection and engagement has its challenges, but also its joys. And as I'm seeking to live my purpose, on purpose each and every day, I am learning what I'm made of and also what's holding me back. (So I can help you do the same! :) ) 

My previous experiences have afforded me with a wide variety of skills and tools to employ in my new endeavors. I've also built many relationships and those connections have been a source of encouragement, support, and opportunity as I've explored what it means to build something that's inspired by hopes and dreams I've held for a long time. BUT, yes there's the big but, I've become acutely aware of the following ongoing pieces of delight (this is sarcasm) in my life, like the way I: 

  • Question my ability to make good decisions and provide sound counsel--like all of the time. I forget that I do have experience and meaningful help to offer to others. When I swirl around too long in this place, I experience paralyzing outcomes. 
  • Recognize that I'm in over my head, which is true, but I go further by internalizing the stress that can come from focusing too much on the big picture. I forget to coach myself in the value of the small steps in these moments. Then I exchange peace for fear. Lovely.
  • Feel small and wonder if anything I'm doing actually matters. This is the other end of the spectrum because here, I get so caught up in all of the details I cannot see the big picture anymore. I assess my worth by how many items I've checked off of my list and forget the necessity of my valuable small accomplishments. 
  • Put myself down because I don't know it all. Go figure! I don't know everything. Are you as shocked as I am? In all seriousness: Why is it that we forget how beautiful it is to learn and discover? When I lose sight of the truth that I'll always be learning, I lose heart. Then I want to eat all of the chocolate and take all of the naps and stay in my house forever... 
  • Forget to invite other people in. Remember how we talked about "Your People" last time? I have them, as you know. But then I forget to reach out and say, "HI... I'm really stressed. Will you hang out with me and remind me that I'm okay, please?" Honestly, this is a huge one for me. It requires so much vulnerability. My need points to the fact that I really don't have it all together. And, then I feel small again, but in a different way, you know? And, I forget that it's okay to have needs in general and also okay that I need other people. We all need stuff. I get so hung-up here... 

Most of those sentences are probably fragments and much of my process is one of self-doubt. On my worst days, I look around at my contemporaries and compare. But other people often look a lot more together than they probably are in real life. While this familiar trap is enticing to fall into, I've had to take extra care to avoid it. I've had to coach myself like I've coached others: You will do this the way YOU were made to do this... You won't be like anyone else at it and that's actually GOOD. Because only YOU are YOU. And, it takes small steps to accomplish all that is in YOU!... 

So, what are your hang-ups?

Maybe you can create a short bulleted list, unlike my paragraphs of explanation. Maybe you can write a paper on yours. Whatever the case, here are some questions to consider this week:

  • Are you aware of your hang-ups? 
  • What names would you give to them?
  • Where did they come from?
  • How do they affect your view of yourself, your relationships and your circumstances? 

Next time we're going to talk about how to address them, but for now, let's take a deeper look at what they are... Awareness is the first small step we can take to get out of being hung-up... Proper English is winning all day, by the way. But don't you worry, I won't get hung up on it. 

Jessica BottComment