Dare to Be You!!
I get this feeling when I need to get something done yet I feel unprepared to do whatever "it" is. It doesn't mean I haven't invested tons of resources to complete it & to the best of my ability to do so with excellence. Something, though, is standing in my way, likely causing frustration, anxiety, disappointment, and maybe even brings up old fears of staring right in the face of seemingly unavoidable looming failure.
When I look at this image, I see myself both in the horse & in the weary, patient cowboy. The horse is just at the end of his strength, has no intention of moving one hoof forward no matter how many have traveled this way before, & maybe even just more than a little sick of trying no matter how much he has accomplished to get to this moment. Capability to do any more is now in question, maybe this is the maximum potential that we all get to eventually, & the reward no longer seems to be enough to sustain the effort. Forceful pulling is NOT going to be enough now no matter how much I may love & respect you.
The cowboy in this image represents how I feel when I am mentally and physically exhausted with the end nowhere in sight. Not only that, no one is around to help me carry the burden. It is often how I feel when I realize I don't have all the answers, & far from it. I begin second guessing what I'm sure must've been my faulty thinking rather than focusing on the real issue at hand, the action steps required to accomplish my goal. I may want to even abandon the dream because clearly it isn't one meant for me to realize. If it was meant for me, why / how could it be SO HARD?
When I look at this image, I think about when I was a doctoral student. I didn't have the luxury to "just go to school." I had a family who definitely needed me to be "present." I never wanted them to say / feel I was putting working, school, etc., ahead of their own needs. It's not possible, though, to do it all, to have it all if that means giving 100% of our total capacity to all the demands life can throw at us. At least it was not possible for me.
Working at American was a 24/7 demand kinda place & I wanted to be the very best I could be, striving to exceed expectations of excellence they had set for me. More importantly almost was the level of excellence I had set for myself; I also believe in competing with oneself one day to the next to ensure there's growth going on. With 250 domestic cities within the AA system, I traveled a lot. It wasn't always possible to "leave work at work." Especially at a place with employees & customers for which I had a great passion for supporting in every way possible. Many nights I would work into the wee hours long after my family was asleep so that I would be prepared for the following day. Or, if I could take my children with me as I traveled, I definitely did.
Then there was the actually going to school part after attempting to balance family & work. How I loved the learning! Many semesters, I could only afford to take 1 course at a time - all my resources were limited - time & money were certainly priceless & rare to us. If I had to go to the library (not much access available otherwise so only choice was to go physically), I would try to work schedules out around family needs, work demands, & often took the children with me trying to add some fun in along the way to quiet my feelings of guilt associated with doing this "for me" thing.
Every semester, I would have a debate with myself - should I keep going? Couldn't it wait until the children got out of school, or at least went off to college? Knowing this level of school was certainly not a requirement professionally, why was it a requirement for me personally? We could not afford financially for me to go without sacrifices that the entire family had to experience, & was it completely unfair for me to ask it of them?
The further I went, the harder it seemed on just about every level. Not to mention, academically I "knew I would reach a point" that I was totally ill-prepared to progress any more. I would say, soon "they" will know I'm just not capable. I see this struggle, this push-pull, in the image here. The heaviness that came with being so sure at the start of a journey it was the right path only to find it was way harder than one could ever have imagined (or known before setting out) while I was traveling the road that became less & less traveled. The road I faced was just full of those proverbial pot holes!
When I was the cowboy & / or the horse in the image, here's what I did:
1. I prayed for God to release me from the dream of completing my degree. Surely I had been wrong about this being part of His plan for my life. Clearly, it had been a dream He had been trying to close doors in, but I was too stubborn, or too unfaithful, to see? The obstacles were just too many, the hurdles way too big! Once I prayed genuinely wanting the answer to be His answer, that I have the wisdom to see it, & the courage to follow it, things would change. I would receive provisions to help get through whatever I was facing at the moment. He would answer me with clear indicators I was to keep going for it was indeed His plan for me to complete for what was "next." I call this my praying with a pure heart, really wanting the answer & for the courage to put it down if that was His answer.
2. I asked other students on the journey with me about their strength builders. Surely I wasn't the only one who was facing such overwhelming fears, demands, giants really. What did they know I didn't? I wanted to learn from those who had chosen a similar path, not from those who had decided, for whatever reason, not to complete the same. I knew how not to do it, but deep down inside I just never felt that was an option for me. Many of these students became close friends of mine & who remain so to this day. Our relationships became stronger & stronger as we trusted / leaned on each other.
3. I admit to asking my faculty wasn't there another, easier path to the same place.😊and here's what they collectively said to such a (silly) question. No, there's not. If there was, it wouldn't be the road less traveled, & the place of dreams.
Call to Action - your turn!
1. Share here an "I just don't want to do it" moment & how you managed to get passed the "push & pull" experienced.
2. If someone doesn't know how much they inspire(d) you, call or send a personal thank you today.
3. Pay it forward!