Off-Kilter

I'm in the midst of learning a lot. I'm doing a lot of trying and failing. When I got invited to do a podcast claiming to coach me through financial goals I agreed because learning is fun and I thought I might get a chance to pitch my own work on air. But as I began receiving emails from the host I started to get a little nervous. The content was interesting but felt a little argumentative. I hoped I was just getting the wrong impression.


This new venture for me (selling my writing and work as a teacher) makes me feel really vulnerable. I have little experience and even less education in the world of business. I'm having to ask for a lot of help and don't feel confident, which makes sense in such new territory. And yet, as the podcast began, this nice host with a calm demeanor began to tell me that my insecurity was purely self-sabotage. He said the only real barrier between me and highfalutin success was me—completely invalidating my rookie concerns.


I've heard this idea before. Usually it's in my office from people who have felt powerless in their lives. When they can't find the help they need they turn inwards, blaming themselves so they can feel in control of moving themselves forward. But the truth is, sometimes we are out of control and it's a really scary time to feel powerless. This is why community is essential. The only real way forward is to keep our eyes open, humbly looking for the help we need.


With my new venture I don't feel powerless. I have limited power, but that's different. I have the power to ask for help.


The podcast ended in tears. Every gut feeling I tried to express was turned into evidence for his theory of self-sabotage. It was maddening. The longer we talked, the more overwhelmed I became until my throat choked up in protest and my feelings spilled right out of my eyes (which I'm sure was great for his audio). I felt really alone and disarmed. I felt like my body was trying to put a wall up between me and danger. I couldn't reel it in.


When it was over I sat for a good ten minutes just letting myself sob it out. Then I called my husband who is a really good guy. He listened and validated. Today I feel better. Ready to call the next person on my list to ask for help.

Unsplash photo cred: Serge Kutuzof


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