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Getting out of my own way

April 18, 2010

This may not come out right. I may end up sounding conceited, which is not my intent. But I need to say this, and so I’m ok with that and I hope that you are too.

I have a tendency not to give myself enough credit. I have a tendency to talk myself out of big things that I want to do for stupid reasons. I have a tendency to be my own worst enemy. I’m working on figuring out why that is, but also wondering if I even need to bother with that step.

I am so eager to talk myself out of big dreams, but does the why really matter? An example: I put a post out there about wanting to start an Etsy shop or other work from home venture and within a day or two, after getting just a couple of less than enthusiastic responses (not from commentors so nobody feel bad, please), I’ve decided that it was a pipe dream and what was I thinking and I should know better and wow, how foolish and embarrassing that I went so far as to put it all out there on the internet and shouldn’t I just hide my head under my (non-functional*) wing and cry myself to sleep in shame?

*because of course if it were functional I’d be flying already, wouldn’t I? There’s obviously something wrong with my wings, that’s why I’m stuck. I’m a chicken or an ostrich or something. Fabulous.

But. Again. Who cares why? I don’t think I do, anymore.

A while ago, I came across a blog called Handmade Recess. I don’t even remember how I got to Ellen, but I’m so pleased that I did. I find her easy to read, fun, diverse and personally inspiring on many levels. Anyway, that day I came across Ellen’s blog was a day that I was really struggling. I came across this post of hers, and immediately I was a mess. This was unfortunate because I was trying to leave to visit a client and had not scheduled any time that day to be a mess, I had to go. But. As I wrote in an email to her later, I was terrified to lose her. So I hit print, threw her into my google reader and ran out the door, trying very hard not to think about that post for the rest of the day, lest I ugly cry in front of corporate bigwigs and start babbling incoherently about bumblebees and chickens and crap.

Then, I read this post by Aunt Becky over at Mommy Wants Vodka, and I realized that others are struggling with some of the same things I am (which shouldn’t be a surprise, there are enough people in this world that we should never feel truly alone). Even super cool awesome blogging people building their empires on the interweb are still busy, somewhere in the back of their head, trying to prove to themselves that they can just DO something. Aunt Becky is someone I read regularly. I love her blog, I think she’s hilarious. The fact that she doesn’t have it all figured out reaffirms that I DON’T HAVE TO EITHER and that frankly, that shouldn’t stop me.

Then, on my birthday (SO fitting!) this was posted by Elizabeth at Boy Crazy: Finding Clarity In The Chaos and it just plain knocked my socks off. It’s where I need to get to, and it’s where I’m headed.

I’m getting out of my own way slowly but surely, and things are happening. Pieces are moving. Ideas are shifting. Plans are emerging. Steps are being taken. Bridges are being built. Endless analogies to forward progress are being made… I’M SORRY. I couldn’t stop. Thank God the baby woke up, we could have been here for years, y’all.

Anyway. What? Oh, yeah. Right on, right?

Ok, here’s a thing: Have you noticed the fancy new buttons over there on the top right? Please check them out! You can email me, you can follow me on twitter (and @ me so I know you’re not a bot and I WILL follow back!) and you can become my fan on Facebook.

And, here’s what I need from you guys. I may be moving forward, taking steps and building junk, but I’m still me and I’m pretty awesome at talking myself down. If nothing else, the muscle memory alone is going to try to take me backwards. That little voice that tells me that this is all there is and I have no right to hope, wish or work for more is still in there. I hear her whiney ass every damn day.

Help me drown her out, ok? Keep me honest. Hold me accountable. If it’s been a while since I posted about something resembling forward momentum, email me. @ me on Twitter. Write on my FB wall, whatever. I need help, and I’m asking.

I can’t imagine it’s going to be easy to be a Breaking Through Ballerina Bumblebee, but hell. I’m going to do it.

Just, you guys? A Little help?


12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2010 9:12 pm

    ❤ You ARE amazing, Mae. And I'll be here to kick your ass whenever you forget that.

  2. April 18, 2010 9:17 pm

    Can you hear me sighing? Because I could have written every word. I’m my own worst enemy, my own biggest obstacle. Here’s to being brave and creating something new for ourselves!

  3. Proud Poppo permalink
    April 18, 2010 9:23 pm

    How odd/cool that you and I should both be resolving to do some major overhauling at the same time! Don’t feel so all alone about the inertia/rut/fear-of-the-unknown/settling/path-of-least-resistance mentality — you definitely did not invent that! (I didn’t either.) And don’t forget to look at your own history for encouragement; remember ten years ago?? There’s been enough positive growth and change in your life to impress ANYBODY, from Sarah Michelle to Oprah… so hey, you’ve already shown what you can do! Which doesn’t mean that it’s not still scary or daunting, but: We’re behind you. You rock. Go get’em, whoever they are, you excellent daughter. I love you.

  4. Liz permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:23 am

    Oh honey pie. I am right there with you. The brilliant ideas quickly struck down by your own self-doubt. I’ve been contimplating the “what if I struck out on my own?” too, and have been having the same problem with talking myself out of it… but that’s me, so not relavant to what I really want to say in this comment…

    You are AMAZING. Say it with me, “AMAZING!” You will absoulutely succeed at whatever you strike out to do. I believe that 100%. If you need anything, pep-talk, someone to bounce ideas of off, sounding board, friend…I’m there. Don’t hesitate to ask. I’m really excited to see this next chapter of your life shape up. It will be great!

  5. April 19, 2010 9:12 am


  6. April 19, 2010 1:17 pm

    thank you for your kind words, mae.

    all i can say, is take those steps boldly. it is incredibly difficult for me to say that i do something well. sometimes it’s paralyzed me.

    i will be cheering you on! and, i’d still love to talk about etsy and other businessy stuff if you need to.

  7. April 19, 2010 1:46 pm

    You’ve already heard this a few times, but I’m going to say it anyway: I feel the same way. Change is hard, but even harder when you don’t give yourself a fighting chance!

    When I get in a mood where I’m being exceptionally hard on myself, you know what I do? I think about the awesome, inspirational, breath-of-fresh-air comment you left on my blog… giving me permission to cut myself some slack.

    On your journey, stuff may be about to suck. And when it gets difficult, it may help to take a breath and pat yourself on the back for each step taken, bridge built and piece moved.

    I hope this didn’t sound too rambly or like I was trying to wax poetic.

    P.S. OMG your dad is so great.

  8. April 20, 2010 7:47 am

    I love this post. It’s funny, when you have friends/family that aren’t so much in the “online” version of the world they don’t understand how it can be quite cathartic and sometimes you just want to say things. I think that I am not quite as sharing as I probably could be on my blog, and quite conservative, out of concern for what family will think. Odd, but true. Summary: I understand.

    Anyway, I’m a new follower and just wanted to say hi.

    • April 20, 2010 8:00 am

      Hi Jessica! It’s something that I still struggle with. I know that my husband, brother in law, father in law and my parents all read this thing, and yeah… that impacts what I say and what I don’t say. I’m trying to find a way to be a bit more open, and in the end I think it’s all about being respectful. I’ll never say anything here that I Wouldn’t say to the faces of my friends and family, and so far that guidepost is working out all right for me.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Glen permalink
    April 20, 2010 8:07 am

    You covered a lot of ground in that blog, but I want to comment on your dreams and your doubts. Dreams are the start of wonderful things, but they must be converted into beliefs. Beliefs are not rational. You can’t be talked into or out of beliefs. They are just inculcated into your core being. Once your dreams are beliefs, then nothing that anyone ever says or does can steal that from you. Also, you can’t have doubts about your beliefs. They are just part of you. Now, you can take your beliefs and turn them into reality.

    When the guy who started FedEx was a college student, he had an assignment to write a business proposal for a new business. He basically wrote about starting a delivery service that could deliver packages anywhere in the U.S.A. by the next day. His business professor gave him a poor grade because he said who needs a package or letter delivered by the next day. The professor basically mocked the whole idea. That student BELIEVED
    in his idea and turned it into reality. From dream to belief to reality, even overcoming the doubts of a learned professor, he succeeded. You can do the same thing.

    You can do anything that you want to do. You can accomplish anything that you want to do. Everything that you need is already inside of you. The talents, the intelligence, the work ethic… everything is there. You just have to decide to do it.
    And, of course, you have lots of family and friends who will help you, support you and encourage you.

    Finally, those people who want to steal your dreams, who tell you that it won’t work or that you can’t do it. They are your enemies! They want to steal your dreams. Don’t let them.

  10. April 20, 2010 8:00 pm


  11. Jenny permalink
    April 22, 2010 4:20 pm

    Go, go, go, GO, MAE! You can do it. You can carve a new path for yourself in the world, wherever you choose to dig in. And if you don’t like that path, you have every right to turn left or right.

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