Having just come off a week of travel for work, followed by another week of playing catch-up on my work and home life, I was itching to write. I always feel this way when I take long breaks from doing the creative things I love, the stuff that feeds my soul. I was daydreaming about it. I had so many ideas and was so inspired, I thought I could simply carve out some time and dedicate it to writing. Easy peasy, right? hashtag gettingstuffdone hashtag makingstuffhapen I was totally high-fiving myself for this.
On Thursday I made my weekend plans: wake up around 6am on Saturday, have my coffee, start the writing, work on graphics, do some more writing, maybe eat something at some point, possibly shower and put clothes on, then, later in the day, take some pictures. Repeat on Sunday. Celebrate.
Friday morning arrived, and with it came the most god awful flu that I can ever recall having. It was evil. I had body aches, a fever, sinus congestion, couching, sore throat, post nasal drip… you get the idea. With only one day to go before my planned weekend of doing nothing other than writing and indulging myself in creative pursuits, I was facing the
possibility reality of being benched. I was throwing a tantrum in my mind, and it didn’t end there.
I used to live my life by a set of rules other than my own, spending time chasing dreams that weren’t mine. My soul felt anxious and restless because my ego was always in the drivers seat. Change needed to happen, but I was reluctant to let these things go, despite the fact that they weren’t serving me.
I started thinking about this post, Part 2 of my ACEing 2015 goal setting series, the day before clicking publish on Part 1. Somehow, despite the fact that I was super inspired and motivated, days later the bulk of what I wanted Part 2 to be just wasn’t coming to me. I would sit down and write, craft outlines, only to review my progress and not feel it. I didn’t feel it in my heart. My own words weren’t speaking to me at all.
So I stepped back and waited, occasionally stopping to really think about what it was that I was trying to achieve by writing these posts and sharing these parts of myself with you all, here on my blog. During the day, I got into the habit of noticing when I felt inspired and making a note about what it was that inspired me. I was listening to a LOT of music. I put myself out there to be found – reaching out to friends and really being present. Spending time with my kids. Cooking. Yoga.
As I did this, the searching and thinking and living my life, I was also really tapping into my awareness of myself and my actions and reactions. Being still, so I could see.
And then it hit me. 5 days later… The fears.
As an engineer, community and social media manager, mama, and, well, person, I know the power of setting goals, but I also know that the true potential of this is only realized if it’s done properly, and in my experience it rarely is.
My experience has taught me that setting powerful, life changing goals is f-ing hard. It requires that my goals never be reduced to random tasks where I lose sight of the real importance of those tasks – creating a bigger change. And if those tasks are wrapped in words that make them feel like goals with hints of being specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART), that alone isn’t enough because it doesn’t guarantee that this goal is tied to the bigger picture for me – Who is it that I want to become?
Fear cripples. It’s true. Fear can take a person who is brilliant, fascinating, and insanely creative and turn them into the person who sits quietly in meetings, staring down, not making eye contact, and barely uttering a sound. It cripples teams, it cripples relationships, and it cripples individual spirits. Fear is one of the main things, if not the main thing, that stops real, meaningful, substantive connections from forming.