I woke up this morning to discover that I had double booked myself on Friday morning. Two meetings, at the same time, that I’m supposed to be leading, in two different towns. A problem 100% caused by my own fault.
I can fix the problem. I can even try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. (Duh. There’s a reason people use calendars instead of relying on their own human brains.) But as I stewed over the situation all while packing school lunches and getting the kids ready for school, I realized a hard and unpleasant truth.
The only one standing in my way is me.
These last few days I’ve found myself constantly overwhelmed and frustrated. I’m overwhelmed by work and frustrated that it’s not the work I keep telling myself I want to be doing.
I’m like a petulant child, throwing mental tantrums, raging against the world.
I groan and gripe and tell myself that I’m being forced to do work I don’t really want to do. I stamp a mental foot and whine about not being given the mental space to do the writing I crave doing.
But if I’m honest with myself, and apparently it took this calendaring snafu to get there, there’s nothing to really rail against.
I’m actually really lucky and grateful to have two, possibly soon three, clients who value my experience and opinions. I love the consulting work I do. I love being sought out for my knowledge and ideas. I come to life on consulting calls. I thrill at being able to connect people. It’s fun and I’m good at it. There’s really nothing not to like.
I think it all – the frustration and overwhelmedness – boils down to one thing. Fear. Pure, simple fear.
Fear. The dragon that stands in the way of success.
Fear that I will fail. Fear that I’ve oversold myself. Fear that, at any moment, someone will realize that I don’t really have anything of value to bring to the table.
And maybe, if we dig even deeper, that’s why I’m not using any of my available time to write, to finish my second novel.
It’s fine, at the start of a busy week, to bluster and grumble about the lack of time. There’s nothing to be done about it this week. There will definitely be no time to dive into the book. But, really, there was time last week and the week before, and I didn’t take advantage of it then.
Fear. Fear of getting lost in the work. Fear the book will be no good. Fear that I can’t deliver a second time. Fear that even a second book can’t help bolster the sales of the first. Fear that I’ll fail at this thing I value so much and that I’ll have no reason to keep going down that path.
Not getting it done is so much easier than facing those fears.
I am my own biggest obstacle.
I need to get over myself, to tell the voices in my head to hush up already.
There’s work to be done.
There are dragons to slay.