Asking for help

While I’m in the business of following every cliched bit of advice the internet has given me…

I realise I need to ask for help.

I want to start making things happen for my plan but I’m nervous about approaching people to ask questions or ask for help.

So I started this morning by testing out ‘asking’ on my housemate.

Me: “Housemate, I have a plan that looks like this, this and this. Would you mind if I ask for your help with it?”

Housemate: “I’ll help, what can I do?”

Me: “I’m not sure. You’re good at fixing bikes. Could you keep fixing my bike?”

Housemate: “OK”.

Help recruited!

Then I realised that I’m already sitting on a mountain of help. I need to get more, and different kinds of help for my new plan. I also need to pay attention to the help I already have.

My list of helpers (preliminary):

* Housemate. The most stable force in my life. Every time I decide to move out, move countries, change my diet, change my routine, change my life, he stays the same and let’s me tizzy around in his stable orbit.

* Boyfriend. He teaches me what it means to be accepting. It makes me want to tear my hair out. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Which is probably why the universe sent me a teacher in the form of a boyfriend.

* Mum. For believing that I am extra-special. She is also scared that I will mess up my life, but she sees my sparkly qualities when I don’t.

* Friend R. For being on the same journey as I am. We can go weeks without seeing each other and when we get together we realise we’re dealing with exactly the same issues. Reached a pinnacle of work frustration? Me too! Freaking out about money? Me too!

* Friend L. For being on a totally different journey as I am, but seeming to understand the journey anyway. And giving me glimpses from time to time that, actually, maybe our journey’s aren’t that different after all. A reminder that we’re all more similar than we think.

* Friend M. For having the magical ability to just get things done. I don’t know how she does it. I don’t see the inner workings. But stuff happens. Business happens. New websites happen. She reminds me that stuff DOES happen.

* Friend A. For living life with passion. A reminder that you can jump in and you won’t sink, you’ll swim. You might have some close calls, but you can always save yourself.

I’m afraid

The annoying thing about putting my plan into action is that I seem to have to walk down paths that seem so cliched. They’ve been done before, I’ve read the blog, can’t I skip it already?

I realised with reluctance that I was in a funk because of ‘resistance‘. That felt lame, but true. Now I’m realising that it all comes back to fear. Lame, but true.

Yeah, fear. Common old fear. I know it already. I tell myself that I am afraid of many things but “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

So today I write a list (inspired by Havi) of what I’m afraid of.

* I’m afraid I’m not business-savvy enough to make a go of my plan

* I’m afraid I will just get stuck in yet another boring situation and want to change it shortly after I arrive

* I’m afraid that I think I know what I want but I don’t really know what I want

* I’m afraid that my attitude is the problem. Not the job. Me. I can bring in my new plan but my sucky attitude will mess that up too

* I’m afraid I’m getting caught up in a relationship that’s holding me back and won’t help me implement my plan

* I’m afraid I am selling myself short in life, that I’m settling for less

* I’m afraid that I’m expecting too much in life, that I should be grateful for less

* I’m afraid that what I really need is someone else to help me bring my plan into fruition but I can’t find that person

* I’m afraid of meeting new people who are doing similar things to me. What if I don’t like them and get stuck at horrible “meet-and-greet” events with people who I don’t like and who tell me about all the amazing things they’re doing and I wonder how they manage to make things happen

* I’m afraid that I am incapable of making something happen. Evidence suggests this doesn’t come easily to me. So I’m afraid that the worst thing for me is to rely on myself to make something happen

* I’m afraid that in five years time I will be muddling along and wishing I had just stuck on the path of 9-5 and kept earning decent money. I’m afraid I will be living in a dingy apartment somewhere, juggling bills. I will be even more boring and hopeless than I am today

* I’m afraid that in five years time I will be muddling along and wishing I had just jumped ship and gone overseas again and continued to live an adventure-filled life. I’m afraid I will be living in a dingy apartment somewhere, juggling bills. I will be even more boring and hopeless than I am today.

* I’m afraid that my fears are messing up my perspective.

 

Resistance…I thought I was just hopeless

I have been making great strides towards my next adventure. I have a plan. Which is something. But there are some other strides I’m taking. These strides aren’t very visible from the outside. Not even very visible to me.

But the strides are being made.

I’ve been clearing away trailer-loads of inner-resistance to putting my plan in action.

I knew change would be hard. At first I pretended it wouldn’t be. Then I begrudgingly accepted it would be. 

Now I’m living it.

Unfortunately my resistance looks like garden-variety hopelessness. Despite telling myself I should feel excited about implementing my plan, I just feel mopey.

My plan intermittently seems like the most ridiculous/boring/useless plan. I wonder to myself what I was thinking.

And then my comfortable, well-paying, soul-destroying job rears itself. “Hey, Sarah, why don’t you just stay here a bit longer. You don’t have enough money to leave me yet anyway. When you think about it, you’re so bad with money that you probably shouldn’t walk away from the security I offer you.”

And yesterday the funk came. I just felt hopeless. And despondent. And bored with everything. I came home from the office at a reasonable hour and some time up my sleeve.  Usually I would take the opportunity to work on my plan. But I just didn’t want to. I couldn’t see the point. I’d been thinking about this plan for so long and it still felt exactly 1 million miles away. And it seemed boring. Why would I want to risk everything on something that would be just as boring as everything else?

So I moped. I watched 30 Rock and Portlandia. I drank hot chocolate. I listened to This American Life while I fell asleep. I hated myself for having every opportunity and squandering it all. For being the person who gets in a funk.

Then I woke up and it was not completely better but less funky.

Other times I’ve dug myself out of a funk with some motivational tricks and shortcuts to feeling inspired (pumping up my tires). This time I’m facing up to the funk and saying, “I get it now. You’re the resistance everyone talks about. I’m going to get to know you and move through you rather than try to dodge you.”

So here’s what I know:

I have a plan.

I don’t need to do anymore planning for a while. I’m open to adjustments to the plan. But I don’t need to spend my hours there.

I’m keen to make something concrete happen so I can tell myself, “See, it’s happening!”

I need to notice the strides instead of only noticing how far it all is in the distance.