It turns out we can be our own worst enemies. Okay, let me be honest. I can be my own worst enemy. In the last few days, I have been scared of change and my own bravery, and of my emerging transformation. Not scared, but terrified.
It sounds silly. It really does. Most of this was in my subconscious, until I really did some honest self-evaluating and journaling.
Here I am, on the precipice of some major change and transformation. I am attending massage therapy school. I am doing some major spiritual and inner work. I am pursuing a different career path that includes multiple threads, instead of “one main gig,” which is what I have always had in the past. I am running and swimming and riding and doing yoga, slowly getting back into shape and health and fitness.
Here’s the thing about those goals and those actions. It’s easy to fall back into old patterns. It’s easy to get lazy. It’s easy to look at bright shiny possibilities and get scared of them. It’s easy to fall back into a rut of inertia. It’s easy to begin, but it’s harder to be in the middle of the progress and to keep going.
What does that look like? Have I been here before?
I remember when I decided to run my first marathon. I had declared the goal in the past, but never followed all the way through. I would get into 5K shape and then get scared and fall back. When I finally ran the marathon, it was a year in the works with lots of solo miles, and lots of encouragement from my sister and a couple of dear friends. The funny thing is, after completing that monumental goal, I got scared again. I was afraid of being close to my weight loss goal, afraid of needing to go further and deeper, afraid of needing to go below the surface to seek the ghosts and goblins that I had been hiding from all along. I told myself I was taking a little break. Then I began making excuses since I was in the midst of packing and moving and figuring out next steps. Quickly my marathon shape faded. Pounds gained, fitness lost, and finally lessons learned. That marathon was almost three years ago. I’m now in the middle of a different marathon, metaphorical, yet still real.
We take steps forward and steps back, but the key is to keep going. Since I realized my point of fear in the last couple of days, I have been able to see my own little bits of self-sabotage.
Facing our greatest hopes and goals, we can also sabotage those dreams. Self-sabotage is often in the subconscious and maybe it starts out as little things: being late to class, standing up a friend, calling in sick, bingewatching a TV show instead of doing homework. Soons those little things can add up to something big, or those little things can be corrected and the path can be found again.
I steered back onto the road and recalibrated. I filled up the gas tank so I wouldn’t be late to class. I turned off the TV and made a deck of flashcards to study for anatomy. I contacted my editor about a new article I want to write. I packed my gym bag. I washed the dishes in the sink and quickly got my little house neat and clean. I made plans with a friend. I showed up early to work.
Only recently have I taken to heart the lesson that worry is pointless and is really only about not being in the moment. I understood it, but didn’t know how to stop worrying. After dealing with some underlying issues, I realized it was as easy as stopping. A deep breath and my three minutes of morning meditation helps. It’s the progress I have made in my inner life that makes this easy.
I realized that my little backslide was a good opportunity. It was my chance to make sure that I really wanted those goals and dreams and hopes. I recommited. I stomped on the sabotage. I faced the fear. It’s funny to see that the sabotage and fear are just steps along the way.
Find the even keel. Take a breath. Keep going.