My oldest little girl has a friend over today. They play so well together that I can virtually go about my day without any worry about what they’re doing. First it was Barbies, then dance party, then videotaping the dance party (I would have DIED to do this as a kid!!!), then dressing up and pretending to be British (with crazy non-British sounding accents), then playing store, and now they’re heading out to play with the neighbor girls. About three minutes into this play date they started casually throwing around the word sleepover. I could see right through it immediately but I thought I’d make them work for it. Now, several hours later, they finally worked up the courage to just ask if they can PLEASE have a sleepover. PLEASE.
I was suddenly brought back to my wood-paneled basement in the early ’90s, standing nearly on top of my friend Zee so I could hear the phone conversation, as she called her mom to see if she could PLEASE sleepover at my house. I was no doubt in stonewash jeans and my bangs were ridiculously big.
Zee was one of my best friends in junior and senior high school. We spent hours, and days, and summers at each other’s houses. Often times, if we were having tons of fun and didn’t want to stop playing, we’d call our moms to beg for a sleepover. Zee was always nervous to call her mom. We had to practice what she would say, come up with clever reasons for why a sleepover was “necessary,” and she would often talk herself out of it before we even made the call. I was a total instigator. “Tell her we’re practicing such and such for school!” “Tell her you’re teaching me a song on the piano and we need more time!” “Tell her we have to babysit my brother!” I was always sure her mom would come around and agree. And in most cases, she did.
As I’ve gotten older and have surrounded myself with incredibly talented and bright women, I’ve found myself continuing to encourage them to do things, even as they’ve tried to talk themselves out of it. One thing about being incredibly talented and bright? We can come up with a million reasons NOT to do something. Even when that something might be a phenomenal opportunity.
This Spring I’ve allowed some self-doubt to creep into areas of my life that it’s typically not present. Ever. Issues at work, and even starting this blog, have resulted in my doing a really great job of talking myself out of things. I’m sure I’m not able to do THAT. I could never apply for THAT. I’m not feeling good enough about my professional experience to do THAT. I’m quite sure I’ll never have enough readers to do THAT. These things have been going through my head over and over for months now which has made me feel paralyzed in my current situation.
I go to lunch with my girlfriends, the ones who love their jobs, and I feel like such a loser for not loving mine. I’ll find myself in groups of people and someone I don’t know well will tell me they love my blog and I get embarrassed and brush it off. Umm…I don’t mean to sound cocky…but these are not traits that are usually present in my sparkling personality. I’m not usually the girl who is the downer of the group or the one saying “wah-wah.” And I’m pretty sure, correct me if I’m wrong, that my friends like me way better when I’m encouraging everyone (including myself) to shoot for the stars no matter what.
Yesterday in the book I’m reading one of the characters said “don’t talk yourself out of it. You’ll talk yourself out of a life.” It’s been repeating over and over in my head since I read it.
It’s interesting…I can talk myself INTO thinking things are really bad…and I can talk myself OUT OF trying things that might be really good. What’s that about?! What I know for sure is that if I don’t aim high and really go after the things that I’m dying to try/do/accomplish I will a) be a completely depressing lunch date/party attendee, b) regret it, and c) find myself feeling stuck. I hate depressing lunch dates let alone BEING a depressing lunch date. I hate feeling like I regret things. And I hate feeling stuck.
And thus, I’m going to try to use my powers of talking myself in and out of things for good, instead of evil.
TODAY: What if I stop talking myself out of things that could be remarkable? What if I do talk myself into taking chances, feeling good about what I’m trying to achieve, and moving forward.