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What is that feeling when you know you are supposed to be doing something special with your life?
That recognition that something is missing and that you were supposed to be doing more, be something more. It’s the big life I imagined as a young adult, but thought I had plenty of time to chase later. For me, this feeling is closely followed by doubting thoughts, ‘I couldn’t do it anyway, I don’t have the time, resources, knowledge’.
But as we prepare to move countries again and I farewell another job, I’ve been aware of a subtle swing of momentum in my mind. I’m more conscious than ever of finding what my big life thing is but I have no idea where to look! The light is on but I may as well still be sitting in the dark as I fumble around for inspiration, for an opportunity, for a sure thing, for a sign. These big life things are the ‘Golden Tickets’, the ‘Holy Grails’, I’ve seen other people find theirs and flourish but why can’t I find mine?
The funny thing is that this little voice in my dark subconscious is screaming to me the answer….but I have not been listening. I’m not interested in what the Truth has to say.
But her voice gets louder and now she is not in the basement of my mind anymore but knocking on my window and it’s getting harder to tune her out. She is telling me that I won’t find my Golden Ticket until I GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY.
I need to stop building road blocks that sabotage my own progress and inevitably grind my ideas to a halt. I know she is right, but it gives me a sour taste in my mouth to admit it and I’m a little bit embarrassed at how long I’ve ignored her, before I listened.
Us women are great at offering advice when our friends ask, at motivating others or highlighting their virtues, values and strengths. But we kind of suck when it comes to doing it for ourselves. So how do you finally get yourself out of that maze of mirrors where every direction you turn you find yourself blocking your own way? How do I stop the seeds of doubt growing like black mould and poisoning every opportunity I dream of? How do I figure out what I am supposed to be doing & then get off my arse and figure out how to do it? I really have no idea, but I do know that I took a giant leap forward by starting my blog well before I thought I was ready and before I could find any roadblocks to lay.
But my old friend Doubt will be stopping by for a visit soon, I can feel her.
She will question my decisions, my motivation, my ability. She will say my writing is not good enough and no-one will want to read it – ‘just look at your blog hits this week – F.A.I.L.U.R.E.’ She’ll tell me to give up before I invest financially and throw money away. She’ll remind me of all my past failures and that I’m moving to a foreign country soon, that I don’t have time for this with 3 kids.
She’ll light the fire in my comfort zone, put her slippers on, pour me a glass of wine and plump up the cushions. She’ll pat one and say ‘Just join me again, only for a moment’.
I always go back to Doubt because she is my safe place, my reassurance that I have a valid reason not to pursue uncertain things. She is a real handbrake. She stops me from failing but she is now stopping me me from succeeding.
A-ha! (My moment of insight just happened as I am writing this!)
Now that I’m actually writing about my lifelong doubt addiction, I realise that large chunks of my life have already been lived outside my comfort zone and no matter how warm the fire, during these times not even Doubt could lure me back. It’s true what they say, magic does happen out there but it can also be lonely when things go wrong.
I’ve lost both my parents to cancer Dad died three months before the 2008 Olympics and Mum died when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. Grief does not live in anyone’s comfort zone.
International sport is not a normal lifestyle and only a fraction of people make it to the top and work hard enough to stay there. I’ve competed in two Olympic Games, sacrifice can create magic for sure but you wont find it in any comfort zone.
Every time I move, it’s me that has to start again and meet new people and discover how our life is going to work all over again. We are about to move countries for the fourth time and this time we have an 8 month old baby as well as our two boys.
To be fair my comfort zone has definitely shifted and this category is starting to become part of it!
I’ve ridden a bull, skydived over Fiji and raced a Formula Challenge racing car! Any bucket list or wild activities are far away from that warm fire, that is for sure.
So I’m learning that your comfort zone can move, shift, adapt, grow and shrink depending on how you chose to manipulate it.
I’ve always thought writing stuff down could be a bit cheesy, but it’s making me realise that I have chosen to put my lifestyle and dreams ahead of my professional working career and I’ve been doing it my whole life. No wonder I feel a bit lost, right? It feels kind of good to acknowledge it.
I guess I have been chasing opportunity for a long time now and perhaps timing has more to do with success or motivation. I was reading Carrie Green’s book She Means Business and one of her friends referred to Divine Breadcrumbs as a description to the signs she follows. This blog has been an A-Ha moment, my insight, my neon arrow pointing the way. For the first time in a long time I am seeing my divine breadcrumbs more clearly.
I don’t have all the answers (sorry if you thought I was going to help you!) but it turns out I do know how to live outside my comfort zone and I am open for opportunities. I acknowledge my doubt addiction but I banish her only to the periphery of my conscious mind – Doubt is an enemy best kept an eye on so she can’t creep up on you!
Success is about focusing on what I do best and I must keep developing. So like the advice we give to our children when they learn to walk, I am going to move forward one step at a time. The dream and big picture is the goal, but when things get harder I need to narrow my focus and just concentrate on one foot in front of the other.
Not everyone is going to love what I do, but someone might.
Wish me luck.
Jaimee Sarah xox
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