Creating A New Life Path
Going Your Own Way
The bumps in the road of life have caused me to reflect upon my life’s work and take an assessment of the status of things so to say. Currently, I am in the process of building a fairly new community organization. The flex and flow of this work is a bit transitory right now. Anytime you venture down a new path, people come and go in their level of commitment and willingness to do the work necessary to bring an idea into fruition. It is only natural. I am the one constant, as the person with the vision is most necessary to the building process.
The best ideas sometimes start out as team projects. But, life inevitably produces leaders and followers. Leaders come in many forms. Some adopt the role right away and some are born. I feel that I have been abandoned in the middle of a critical time in the building of my new nonprofit and sort of fell into the born leader role. By this, I mean that what started out as a team project with disburse responsibilities and roles has pretty much turned into a solo project. I have partners, but the success or failure of the project clearly rests on my shoulders. As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist, I feel a lot of pressure from myself. A lot of people are dependent of me, and I do not want to let them down.
Struggling to Keep the Faith
This current life situation is causing me a lot of anxiety, stress headaches, sleeplessness, and fatigue. I may often feel that most of my time is spent worrying and not being very productive. Do I regret my life path? Not really. In truth, I am probably being way more productive than most in the industry. My perfectionism causes me to feel that the best is still not good enough. A number of people would like to see me fail, which means I am doing a needed and necessary thing for my community. Believe it or not ~ there is a lot of competition in the nonprofit world and it is very cut throat. People will lie and steal to keep you from getting what they want. Just because it is supposed to be a “feel good” industry doesn’t mean that people are nice. Ultimately, I have faith in what I am doing and believe in my heart that I will be beyond successful. It is the getting through the tough times that tests my faith and what I have to grapple with on the day to day. Very few people can really comprehend what is necessary to build an organization unless they have gone through the process. And, any signs of “weakness” are reasons to deny funding or support. Fearlessness and competence must be shown at all times to the outside world. One is taught and told never to let anyone see you crack under the pressure or be human.
Allow Yourself Room to Grow
I am writing to let you know a little secret. There is no hard fast “right” way of doing anything. The reality is that life is full of mistakes, false starts and new beginnings. Most things are not as serious or irreversible as they first seem. There are often multiple chances and opportunities for redemption and success. What feels worse than the difficulty of starting a new project or bringing an idea to life is never trying ~ living a life with the regret of not moving on what you really want to do in life. Though I may have many ebbs and flows and ups and downs in confidence, faith and worry, I invite you to join me in starting something new. Your anxiety and headaches will pass as mine will. You will learn how to do a lot of things you never knew or even thought you could do ~ and you will learn how to do them with competence. Mistakes will happen. You will get over them. You will do better next time. There will always be doubters and haters and folks wanting to see you fail. That is their problem not yours. What I have to do to make it is constantly remind myself that I give myself permission to “mess up.” To start down a new life path, however small or big it might be, all you have to do is try and allow yourself to figure things out along the way.