Dear Strong Woman,
Stay in it.
I’ve come to equate the journey through an intense season of change to a deep tissue massage. You know the experience will be worth it, but as it’s happening I sometimes find that pain almost too uncomfortable to bear.
At first it always feels good, but inevitably the masseuse finds my trouble spots and sets up camp there for a bit. Tapping, kneading, applying pressure. Working out the mess and the tension, what I refer to as “the crunchies” that have built up over time. (Funny, I call the crumble cookie layer on a Dairy Queen ice cream cake this same name. Though I have a much different relationship with that indulgence.) I have to keep reminding myself to breathe through these moments, telling myself to hold on a little longer, that it’ll all be over soon and I’ll be happy I stayed in it.
Change is like this, too.
I’ve been interviewing recently for a new job, in particular one that would afford me the time and energy to dedicate to my growing coaching practice. Time with loved ones is important to me, as is my own self-care, and both have been the first to go as I’ve been working a side-hustle on top of a full-time job. (Perhaps it’s a similar story for you?) So I made a list: my conditions of satisfaction for whatever came along next. If what was presented didn’t align with them, then it was a pass. Period.
And yet, with bills to pay and time ticking away, I could feel the crunchies starting to form.
I interviewed with an organization I really admire. I feel in alignment with their business model and in good vibration with their people. But the structure of the position they were looking to fill didn’t match my conditions. It wasn’t immediate – as courage doesn’t always roar, my friends! – but I found to gumption to risk what was on the table for what I was committed to, for the way I want to do life. They wanted full-time. I asked for part-time. They wanted someone for the long haul. I let them know my goal of running a coaching practice full time in six months.
Doing so left me feeling the same way I do after one of those massages – a little sick. My fears of being able to pay my bills and falling back into debt grew into a giant, crunchy knot in my chest. But I stayed in it, and as I heard myself stating what was necessary for me for me to remain inside the commitment I made, I found myself telling myself the same things: Hold on. Just a little bit longer. You’ll be happy you did.
In the end, they still offered me the job! How rewarding it was to take a stand for what I am worth, what I am creating, and be validated! Finally.
I’m not saying it will always be like this. In the past, asking for what I needed got me scoffed at, outcasted, and dumped. As you make a change, this happens. People will react in this way. Just remember that these are not your people. Their opinions of you have no bearing on your self worth. Sure, they may shake their heads and wonder why, but keep going, dear. Soon they’ll be wondering how.
The last thing I want to point out is this: there is fear present in every choice you make. There is a fear that comes with risking what you have, and there’s also a fear of risking what could be. You just have to decide which is the greater risk.
Just please keep in mind…
No pressure. No diamond.