It's officially crisp here in NYC and I looooove it. My fall retreat is coming up next weekend, and I can't wait to escape to the woods with some awesome people and soak it all up. In the meantime, though, I've been feeling pretty consumed by a decision I'm trying to make.
It's another big leap, and I've been weighing the options and crunching the numbers and, of course, asking for others' opinions. I'm reminded, however, that when it comes to things like these, I'm gonna do whatever I'm gonna do. Yes, other people's opinions are valuable, and I think it's important to get perspectives outside of your own. However, these things can only be ultimately decided by ourselves, and that gut instinct we all have inside.
I think I know which way I'm gonna go on this, but it's not because of what the numbers said, and it's not because of what my Mom or boyfriend said (they gave contradicting opinions anyway, how annoying). Many of the themes that have come up for me during this decision-making process are things I have written about before, so I'm going back to some old posts this week to help sort it all out.
First is the actual decision-making tool- the thing that helps me know how I actually feel about it. Would I be disappointed if I didn't go for it? Yeah, probably. This tool brought me to a mostly "yes" answer, but of course there's still doubt, there's still fear, there's still that big what if I fail...
But as luck (or the universe) would have it, I had a completely unrelated conversation with a client today about the idea of failure. It reminded me that - you know what - failure is okay. In fact, some failure is necessary. Of course, I'm not aimingfor failure, but the point is there's really no wrong way to go. I explained to them my theory on mistakes- how I don't believe in them, because no matter what path you go down, you learn something, and you are farther along than you were before. Some paths we just have to go down, no matter how unsure we are, because what's usually worse is not going for it and always wondering what if I tried...
Feeling pretty resolved in my decision (like 95%), I came home and chatted with my roomie about it. I explained to her that what still rattles my confidence is the other people doing the thing I want to do, and the feelings of "who am I to do that too?" that come up. Good old imposter syndrome likes to keep us where we are. It's easy to stay safe, to stay small, to let everyone else do the things you want to be doing and chalk it up to "I can't do it like they do it." Everyone else might make it look easy, but everyone else just started one day, too. And in fact the best way to become the kind of person who does the things you want to do, is to go ahead and do the things you want to do. Someday you will realize, you are that person. You'll realize there's no special club to join, there's just taking the chance. There's one foot in front of the other. There's hard work and risk and facing your fears of failure, and those are the only things that stand between you and that person you want to be, who's doing the things you want to do.
It requires a lot of trust in yourself to take a leap of faith and believe that no matter what happens, you will figure it out. But most often, you will, because there's really no other choice - you gotta figure it out!
And so I'll leave you with this quote, which hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it almost two years ago and popped back onto my radar this week... coincidentally... or not...
Someone once told me the definition of Hell:
The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.