The other day I read an article instructing “older” workers on how to be relevant. The theme of the article was that if you’re over 40 you should try really hard to appear to be young and hip in order to stay employed. I’m really tired of hearing how I have to negate parts of myself in order to be more acceptable to the “norm.” Frankly I’m not sure there is a norm, but there are a lot of people beating themselves up because they can’t fit into it.
If you believe that there is something wrong with you, then it’s going to be hard to trust what you gut is telling you. In fact, you probably aren’t even listening. However, if you have a desire to be better, to learn more…to be the very best person you can be…you’ll have to accept that you know what’s best for you. That’s hard to do if you believe that you aren’t good enough.
In the corporate world I was rewarded for conforming to whatever “norm” was set by the company culture. I was used to not listening to my own mind. I turned off my desires for a different life. They were painful to deal with because I was afraid to make a change. So, I waited until I couldn’t ignore it any longer. There comes a point where you just can’t drag yourself through another day. But why wait until you’re in pain before you decide you’ve had enough?
Unfortunately it’s difficult to make changes if you don’t trust what you’re feeling – or you’re being told you’re crazy to want a different kind of life. You’re not crazy. There’s nothing wrong with you.
If you’re not comfortable settling for someone else’s definition of normal behavior, then that’s perfectly normal (pun intended). So many of us are busy fixing ourselves in an effort to fit in. It can stop a lot of us from stepping out into our own businesses or doing anything else we’ve been dreaming of. It’s hard to pursue a dream when we don’t feel worthy…when we think we need to be fixed in order to deserve it.
Everything you’ve experienced has given you what you need to go forward. But we’re not going to move anywhere if we don’t believe in our dreams…or ourselves.
Copyright © 2010 Deborah A. Bailey