I attended a conference recently that spoke a lot to the “why” behind our feelings surrounding the current season we all are finding ourselves in. A question was asked if the feeling we find ourselves experiencing right now is something that we have experienced before.
This thought was then followed by a couple of questions that allowed me to have an “ah ha moment” that I had no idea needed to happen.
In looking at how much it helped me to answer these questions and come to my moment of clarity, I thought maybe if I captured the exercise here, it might help someone else find their clarity as well.
So here we go.
What are you feeling right now?
Side note. Definition of anxiety that resonated with me: The fear of a made up future. Let me repeat that one for the people in the back. Anxiety is the fear of the future that you are making up. Have YOU ever done this before? I have, all the time. What if, what if, what if…………
Have you felt this feeling before?
Back in 2018 when my third daughter was born. I was trying to find a new normal.
What caused you to feel it?
The feeling of being out of control. Wanting no waves. Wanting it all to be smooth. Wanting to just get it right. I had no idea how hard it would be to have two children around the same age. I thought it was going to be “easy,” smooth.
What did it make you feel?
Like a failure. I was not good enough. I was not a good mom. I was not a good wife. I was not a good friend. I was not a good leader to my team at work. I couldn’t figure it out. I felt like I was supposed to have it all figured out.
As I did the work, these answers just came pouring out of me. I had no idea there was any sort of resemblance with another season in my life, but it was so true. This is exactly what I was feeling back then. This is why I began my personal development journey back then, even though I didn’t realize at that time this is what I had started.
Fast forward to today. This is exactly how I am feeling with the current season we are all in. I give you exhibit A, my recent blog post (that you can find here). This post was a pretty vulnerable post about not feeling like enough when it comes to the different roles I play in my life.
So what did I take away from this exercise?
That I am too flipping hard on myself. That I have some pretty unrealistic expectations for myself that creates a lot of unnecessary pressure. Also, the fact that I have ALWAYS figured it out, and I will continue to do so even in this season. Even if it takes me a minute. It’s not about the speed, it’s about the journey.
The fears I have are strong. They’re valid.The truths however are stronger. Please see exhibit B. My current fears I have on replay in my brain.
What if I mess up these kids? What if because of this season, they grow up even STRONGER than we had ever imagined? What if they grow an even stronger bond as sisters because they were home more thanks to quarantine.
What if I fail? Fail as a coach. Fail as a leader to my team. What if I do this right? What if I impact one life during this time. Just one. Think of the ripple effect that would make in the world. Had COVID-19 not had happened, I would have been sitting here on the sidelines, dreaming and planning about being a coach. Never feeling “ready” to take the leap. COVID-19 made me jump.
You guys, I have to believe that everything happens for you, not to you. I have to believe that this season, this inconvenient, and sometimes hard season, has lessons in it that were put in front of all of us for a reason.
I have to believe that yes, we are going to be scared at times. We are going to be tired, no exhausted, at the end of the day. Unfortunately we do not have all the answers, but that does not mean we cannot still show up. We can stand in front of that mirror every single day and give ourselves the pep talk we need.
Something is more important than your fear. Something is telling us that we will be stronger on the other side of this. We will be a better mother, partner, leader, friend, coach. I may not know exactly how yet, but I do know who I want to be at the end of this.
The pep talk I give myself in that mirror? Do it scared Pam. Just make sure you show up.
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