Today a business colleague asked me the source of my confidence. I was a little thrown by her question. Me, confident? That label didn’t seem correct. I worry. I stress. I feel anxious and uncertain most of the time. I do not consider myself a confident person at all.
As I thought about how to answer her, I realized that I am confident about a few things:
But there is an equally long list of things in which I don’t feel confident most of the time:
So what I decided was that change is HARD. It can be complicated and messy and very unnerving. Right now, I am going through one of those major transformations that seem to happen in every decade of my life. After working for others for twenty years, I decided to be my own boss. It sounded so simple when I started last summer, but I am learning it takes a lot of work to develop a successful business. I can now see how little I knew when I started this journey two years ago when I enrolled in my yoga teacher training program, and how much more I have to learn. Being uncertain leads to insecurity and anxious feelings.
I also am tapping into my creative energy in a more powerful way than I ever have attempted to do before. Each week, I set aside at least two hours to take myself on an Artist Date. Yesterday I went to a framing store to find out what it would cost to frame a print I bought in Jamaica last month. Then I headed to Home Depot to purchase some paint. I spent about an hour spray-painting shelves I had purchased at Ikea last spring. It was awesome to be creating something more beautiful with the tools at my disposal (in this case, latex gloves, spray paint and a drop cloth). I felt such a rush, and realized that I want to continue making more and more time for these creative outlets.
But spray painting doesn’t pay. I have to work. I have to earn an income. I have to fulfill my obligations to my clients and customers. But when do I work, and when do I create? And when do I have time to relax, have fun and spend time with friends and family?
I have no idea. That not knowing, that uncertainty, makes this process of change very challenging. When I try to figure out the long-term future, I feel overwhelmed. I like structure, certainty and security. These are absent in the midst of transformation. After the feelings of being overwhelmed arrive, a bit of hopelessness sets in. I can’t see the final result. I’m not sure how this process will work itself out.
Just as I prepare to fall into despair, I pull myself out with a little reminder. I think of a phrase I learned from my favorite author Anne Lamott. Change, like writing a report, happens “bird by bird” (meaning, one step at a time). The process is difficult and messy, but the final product is well worth the unpleasantness in the middle.
Where are you in your change journey?
What’s going well?
I’d love to hear from you.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.