You Have a Raincoat!

It’s very easy for me to come up with excuses right off the bat. My initial response to most invitations is either a half-hearted, reluctant “yes” or the classic “I will think about it” — which generally means no. Whether it’s a lack of motivation, deficiency in executive function, or never-ending over analysis, it takes me a while before I can take action. Many times I’m just simply overwhelmed and saying “no” is the the easy way out. Ironically, sometimes the path of resistance for me is… resistance.

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with my friend, Hannah, while she was walking outside — in the rain. We live in Portland so it’s not like it was a surprise weather alert.

“Why in the world are you walking in the rain?? It’s raining!”
“Because I need to…”
“Yeah, I mean, I was thinking about going for a walk, but… it’s raining.”
“You have a raincoat!”

WHAT A CONCEPT.

Last summer, I was struggling with the decision of accepting two jobs at the same time. The offers on the table were a promotion to a full-time gig at the gym in the membership department, and the opportunity to work part-time as a freelance copywriter, managing a recruiting company’s marketing and blog. It was so exciting to have both offers, but this situation was new for me and I had no idea how I could possibly do both. I was pretty much paralyzed with the fear that I would be taking on too much.

As I was tossing it around in my head, another very smart friend of mine reminded me this was exactly the work I was looking for — it was just packaged differently.

“But what if I commit and it’s too much? What if I can’t do it?” I asked her.
She said, “When have you ever just had one commitment in your life? And if something doesn’t work, then you adjust.”

You’re going to be fine, you have a raincoat.

I sent the recruiting firm my proposal outlining the work I would do and my parameters. After a couple negotiation emails back and forth, they accepted! Once I wrapped my head around tackling both jobs, I was so excited and proud of myself. That being said, the work hadn’t started yet.

Once I finally sat down to start creating an editorial calendar for this company’s blog, the absolute sheer panic set in. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit… I don’t know how to do this. This calendar was always set up for me at the last job and I only managed it. What have I gotten myself into?

After receiving a handful of probably slightly concerning texts about my calendaring dread, Hannah (the one who set up all the calendars at our old job) called:

“Hey, I thought I would just call so we can talk through this before I go to bed.”
Me, like a dummy, tried to turn down the help I very much needed. “Oh my gosh, no no… I’m fine you can go to bed, I don’t need to bother you with this.”
“Hmmm, yeah, well we’re just going to talk through this anyway because I know you know how to do this.” What. An. Angel.

She helped me plot out the quarterly calendar, reminded me of all the hiccups we had, and we discussed how to avoid them this time. When we were done, I thanked her profusely and said goodnight. After I hung up the phone, I cried a little out of relief and gratitude. I went through my old spreadsheets and notes on my computer from my last job and used them as templates going forward. Duh, I know this stuff! The new-job-scaries had taken over and clouded my memory, confidence, and sanity.

You’re going to be fine, you have a raincoat.

So many times we freak out when we are faced with new challenges and changes to our normal routine. It is super uncomfortable and your body will try to fight it because, as I’ve said many times, change can be really effing scary, and especially when your self-confidence is in the mix!

But as we know, change is inevitable. And hard. And uncomfortable.

The cool thing is, all those super uncomfortable experiences you gain in pursuit of growth patch together the best raincoat — complete with cargo pockets and glittery sequins (or whatever you would like in a raincoat, I don’t know your style).

You have everything you need, so go do the thing. It’ll be okay, maybe even great. Grab your raincoat. If you forget where you put it, you probably have a good friend who remembers where you left it.

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