Ch Ch Ch Changes

We're Moving!

I got a new job!

We're having a baby!

My baby is going to college!

By the way, only one of those is true for me and all four have given me insane amounts of anxiety. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a lifelong-currently-medicated anxiety sufferer so the idea of change has made it almost impossible for me to swallow, and certainly impossible for me to mentally navigate my way through the steps to the new frontier waiting for me at times. I've experienced a Brittany Spears style mental breakdown (minus the head shaving), crying and shaking, and the desperate fear of pretend bankruptcy and situations that basically scared the bejesus out of me for no reason. You couldn't have told me there was no reason to freak out at the time but hey... hindsight.

Wanna know a secret? I actually LOVE the idea of change until it smacks me in the face. Notice I said the idea of change because when it comes right down to it, the process is really scary and blinding at times. When you're a big picture type of person like I am, sometimes the stepping stones, including the first step of actually making a decision to change, is paralyzing. Can you relate?

Imagine that you're stuck in a job that drains your energy, makes you grouchy once you get home, pays well but steals your soul. Never-mind having any time you have at home with your family and friends, you're spent. You wake up each morning exhausted and dreading the day, begrudgingly haul your butt to work where you mindlessly maneuver the day without any major hiccups, but also without any real inspiration either. Finally, in a quick moment of excitement or sheer desperation you apply for your dream job that you've always figured was out of your reach.

You interview for the job.

You nail the interview.

You WANT this job!

You NEED this joy!

You are freaking terrified of the job for a laundry list of reasons.

You're offered the job.

*Cue panic.*

So, do you take the job? It's a BIG change! It's a life changing opportunity that could open potential that is beyond anything you've experienced in the job you've had for the past however many years. What goes through your mind?

If you're like me, panic happens. I have to admit that I am often guilty of fearing the things that excite me the most. I have been known to immediately second guess my abilities so I can discount that I might even be great at what this dream job is, ask myself why I thought this ever sounded like a good idea in the first place, and completely discount every quality or positive feeling I have! Here's the kicker, I nearly always accept the change. I have to admit, I sound ridiculous and I'm happy to say that now I only freak out about half as much as I used to but it has been a looooong process.

So what 12 step plan did I take that changed my perception from having to create scary changes to focusing on the opportunity to increase my choices?

Imagine with me if you will ...

Instead of being held hostage by a lack of creative ideas on HOW to get from A to B we let ourselves get totally jazzed about all of the potential opportunities that will spring up once we decide to take the leap and go for what we want? What if we stopped trying to figure out how things will happen and trust that all the opportunities that spring up along the way are actually the right steps for us and that those baby steps are taking us closer to our goal? Sounds crazy, right?

If you're thinking that maybe I've lost my marbles, let me give you a totally true example of how this happens. This actually has happened to me over and over in my life and most of those times I was too busy panicking (or herding kids) to notice, but at one point about four years ago I was ready to change jobs. I knew I had to leave where I was working but I had zero ideas on where to go or what to do. I considered applying to go back to teaching full time but I knew that balancing a full-time job with four kids and coaching swimming was way too much. I tossed around the idea of amping up my Avon sales again but as much as I like a couple of their products, I didn't want that to be my identity. I considered two or three other so-so ideas but flushed those away too. I felt defeated and stuck with no idea how I was going to make things work so I could leave my job.

Let me tell you how this went - this is back in the panic days.

I cried. A lot. I cried because I was quitting a job I didn't want at all, but because I also felt bad for leaving a business that my dad had built, and I felt like I had to stick it out even thought he was 100% fine with me quitting. I still cried and felt horrible and yes, I know it was irrational. Anxiety often is.

I second-guessed my ability to find another job where I would make any money that made it worth my time to go to work because I was " just a teacher" or "just a mom" or just a whatever ... I discounted myself and my abilities.

I felt stupid. I felt incapable of having a career I wanted and that I was good at. I cried some more out of self-pity and anger. (Yes, I cry when I'm angry and scared, not when I'm sad.)

I decided to quit anyway.

Here's the best part. Ready? I went t