Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: career

#30daysofdresses – day 16

The 14 hour work day…

Last week when I pulled this dress out of my closet, I was preparing for a full day of meetings. Higher ups were in town and my colleague planned a tour of LA from breakfast to bedtime.

It was a long, long, long day.

It was productive though. Because I’m a remote employee, I don’t get to experience the conversations that pan out between other people, the information sharing, the collaboration. I learned so much just riding in the car between meetings. It was a nice professional boost to attend these appointments.

At one point, a higher-up was asking me questions, feeling me out about my career goals. I said I believed we needed more leadership and maturity – and she asked about me.

Me?

I said I didn’t feel like I had enough experience yet… again, maturity, etc… and she cut me off, and said in a very direct but gentle way, “That’s a female thing. No man your age would say that.”

Oh.

Hello imposter syndrome: a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themselves (and not to others).

The whole day got me thinking about where I’m at, what I want to do next, and circling back over this topic of having the authority over my own life.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate.

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If Nothing Is Permanent, Then Anything Is Possible

If nothing is permanent than anything is possible.

This concept came to me via the podcast How She Really Does It where Koren Motekaitis interviewed Kelly Rae Roberts. Kelly Rae was exactly my age when two major things came into her life – a running program for a 1/2 marathon and being swept up in art making. At the time she was a social worker, burning out on the job and in the past 7 years has left that career for one where she is a full-time artist.

Now I know there’s no silver bullet, but don’t you think that’s interesting the Universe popped that podcast into my ears this week?

Because I’ve been thinking about my job and my life. I am feeling like I’ve grown too big, like my shell is too tight and it’s time to find a new home. Like I want to do something new. And I feel like I’m suffering from “impostor syndrome“. Did I dupe everybody? How could I want to move on from a job that I basically fell into? Do I ever deserve this gig? And aren’t I being horribly ungrateful to look this gift horse in the mouth…?

I mean, the pay, the flexibility and the network I’ve built – that would be a lot to give away to start over. Starting to feel a scarcity approach from myself – like I need to hold on to this position in almost a desperate way, because what else would ever beat it? What if it disappears?

At the retreat, someone mentioned that that you can grow up (bigger) or down (deeper). I’d never heard it put this way, but it resonated with the images I had for my year – that I not only wanted to grow tall like a tree, but I wanted to grow roots, a solid foundation.

Then a colleague called me up with an idea for responsibilities I could take off his plate. Responsibilities that could expand my role. And I thought up a very simple series I could create to spotlight my clients, which I started on today.

So, maybe it’s not about going bigger but deeper.

And as Kelly Rae said in the podcast – if nothing is permanent, then anything is possible.

Have you ever thought about growing *down*? Is there a place in your life you’ve gone deeper instead of bigger?

Trusting Equals Serendipity

From Danielle Laporte’s The Fire Starter Sessions

I am loving Danielle Laporte’s Fire Starter Sessions, mostly because she took the words right out of my mouth. DL is way more badass than me, but part of me wishes I had this book 2 years ago when I started my journey. The other part of me knows these truths wouldn’t have rang true for me, no matter how close to the skin they feel now.

This is the tricky thing about trying to explain to people how I’m where I am compared to where I used to be. Which is no where, because where I used to be was tough – anxious, upset, guilty about feeling upset, disliking people as a whole and exhausted. One could sum it up as “depressed” even, but I never went that far. My friend Steve did though, and recommended I see a therapist. Not only because it would help, but because, he said, “You’ll love it”.

Boy, was he right.

It’s a pain in the butt to distill the past few years into stories that may help people. I’m not there yet – it’s still an abstract puzzle. I sounded it out this weekend while my sister bounced ideas off of me (ever the older sister, testing my theories on her) and then with friends, including one who is balancing planning a wedding with a strenuous mom-daughter relationship. So much of my own experience seems to be of value to people, and yet, it’s not coming across as cohesive or structured.

Not yet anyways.

Of course, serendipity loves me, and I ran into another friend who is further along in her career and fabulous to bounce ideas off of (I need more of these women in my life – or at least I need to spend more time with them). We spent a solid half hour at Starbucks chatting about my career, possible next moves, frustrations, projects and the below:

  • I am able to talk with people and hear their stories; giving them space to ruminate, brainstorm, and recognize that they already know what they want to do or have the “next step” they can take to move towards what they want.
  • I am able to pull these stories together into possible actions / events / offerings for the group, in turn creating and building a community.
  • I am able to empathize with people my own age and younger who are under the GenY label – I feel the pressures, panic, brightness and drive that this group experiences isn’t acknowledged in productive ways
  • I want to be able to communicate the stories, ideas, concerns, wishes, and goals of the above GenY people with other people in their lives – parents, bosses, each other etc.

Not sure what to do next, but I love that this morning’s chance meeting validates my continuing practice – show up in the world, trust that things will work out, and enjoy. And, as DL says above, “make ease a metric of your success”. Amazing things can happen.

 

 

 

Challenging | Walter’s Wiggles

Triumphant, but only half-way

There are all sorts of challenges in life – physical, emotional, project, interactive – but really it comes down to how we view these challenges. By view, I mean think about them – the name we give them, the context we think they exist in, how our feelings about our past and our future attach themselves to the current issue at hand.

My significant other retitled homework assignments as “learning opportunities”. Sounds a lot more inviting now, doesn’t it?

After my last post, I’ve kept up working with Inquiry and it’s helping. A lot. I don’t have the energy to go into it now, but I can say it’s allowed me to take a leap professionally, however small, that I didn’t want to take. Or, thought I didn’t want to take.

If you’ve ever hiked Zion’s Angels Landing hike you’d know that the thrill of the view, the summit, is so worth the fear of falling over the edge at any moment… but what I want to write about right here is Walter’s Wiggles.

Walter’s Wiggles is a series of 21-switchbacks that make your thighs explode. This is also the last section of the trail before the open landing of Scout Lookout and the beginning of the Angels Landing trail. Of course, the goal is to ascend Angels Landing and have a wide-reaching, stunning view of the canyon. Which I did. But that’s for another post.

Because tomorrow I am facing a symbolic Walter’s Wiggles in my own tiny career path. No, it’s not the tricky summit or the steady climb of the path, but a quick bunch of hoops to jump through on my way to bigger, grander things.

So, it’ll be OK if I don’t make it past this juncture. Climbing the Wiggles and making it to the open space of Scout Lookout probably could have been enough. I’ve learned it’s important to celebrate the milestones. To climb the ladder one rung at a time. And while I hope this trail leads to another more challenging route, I am just happy I’m moving, putting one foot in front of the other, and not feeling that sticky stagnant depression.

Life has its plans for me and I’m willing to see them unfold.