Imaginary Failures

“The only obstacle to your success is your imagination” I’m reading ‘The year of yes’ by Shonda Rhimes right now and this quote just happened. Literally 45 seconds ago and it touched me so much I had to stop reading and write.

I’ve had friends tell me before that I’m a worrier, a word never used to describe myself before I lost Byron. I worry about EVERYTHING. I stress over the smallest of items and then pretend that I have a care in the world. Only my closest friends know my tendency to lean toward the “what ifs” in life. For example, I’ve been trying to figure out how to afford a new fence since I purchased my fence less home in 2014. My boys needed a yard to play in and I couldn’t deal with worrying about what could happen with them playing outside fence less… I mean there are stray dogs, and pedophiles and all other kinds of horrible things that could come across them out there unfenced (see what I mean?). Well this week I accomplished this feat. I walked on air for a total of half a day before I began worrying about one of my neighbors being upset about the fence (since they’re currently fenceless). I couldn’t even enjoy the accomplishment before I began stressing about a new “what if.”

But in reality do you know what those what ifs are? Imaginary. Usually, I spend a lot of time worrying about things that never happen. I stress about what may happen years from now when I have no idea where I’ll be 4 years from now. I’m imagining the worst that can happen and then giving myself an anxiety attack about it. Worse, sometimes that anxiety attack is paralyzing. I cant make a decision about how to prevent my imagined disaster so I instead do nothing, which stalls other areas of my life. I can’t possibly figure out how to make a career change if I’m paralyzed with fear about making the wrong move and not being able to support my boys. I can’t possibly take care of my health and go to the gym if I’m worried about my kids not getting enough sleep and having problems in school because we’re getting home later (even though this has never affected them before. So instead I do nothing.

My imaginiation has been a stumbling block for me for the past few years. I have been complacent and living day to day. I’ve been catapulted into a new life, I’ve steadied myself and strapped on my seatbelt but I’ve been afraid to move forward in the fear that when I start moving I’ll head in the wrong direction. Blocking any true chance a being successful at any venture I may have made that was out of my comfort zone. My imagination (and I’ll admit it fear) has had me stuck in a couple of places far too long for no other reason than it was familiar and I’d imagined far too many things going wrong in the land of the unknown.

Fortunately, sometimes life forces you to move when you wouldn’t have otherwise. I recently switched companies and job roles and am optimistic about what my life is beginning to look like. This was a gamble for me but where I was wasn’t working I wasn’t happy and my job performance reflected it. I basically jumped ship before I sank. No courage needed to do that (we already addressed my fear of not being able to provide for the kids) jumping ship was more about survival than courage. Anyways I digress. I’ll be printing my new Shonda Rhimes quote and putting it in a couple of places as reminder to get of my head more often. Take a few risks in spite of my imaginary failures and hopefully succeed because of it.


One Reply to “Imaginary Failures”

  1. I love quotes like that, the ones that make you literally stop. I do the same as you when I stumble across one of those mind clutching quotes, I stop, then write down the words that so affected me so I can remember and retain them.

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