Where Do I Go From Here?

After getting off the bus in the late afternoon, yesterday,  I drove twenty minutes north to attend a Toastmasters meeting.  I have never really been the first one to speak up in a group setting. I have always been content to stay silent and let others speak for me.

As I have gotten older, I have become keenly aware that my lack of visibility in team meetings, and group outings can have a detrimental affect on how I perceive myself, and how I am perceived by others.

I guess what I am saying is that when you choose to behave like you are invisible in life, don’t expect many opportunities to come your way.

Naturally, I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).  For me to actively extrovert throughout the day, it thoroughly drains me. When I get home, I feel like I had run a twenty five mile marathon. I conserve energy by purposefully not taking in all the sights and sounds that occur around me, on a daily basis. Working in a loud single room with dozens of cubicles causes my soul to wither.

With all the distractions and obligation to extrovert in order to win the favor of my extroverted manager, I feel like an abject failure, at the end of the day. Even when things go well, they don’t really.  My job doesn’t fit me, my coworkers for the most part don’t fit me, the work is something I could walk away from today, and not feel the slightest bit of remorse.  God, this is starting to sound depressing.

Getting back to why I went to a Toastmasters meeting,  I wanted to do something outside the norm for me.  I already feel anxious about my career, and what lays ahead of me in the near future, but to push myself slightly more outside my comfort zone, it feels exhilarating.  It gives me a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, I can be something different, I can reimagine myself and my future.

In order to make a career shift, it will take persistence and dedication.  It is scary not being able to see what is just over the hill, but then again it is also exhilarating too.  Life is a journey, it is meant to be experienced.  I want to get to the end of my life and look back and be proud of what I have accomplished.  So far, I cannot say that about myself, for the most part.

If you never take chances in life, and strive to grow into a better version of yourself, life becomes stagnant and you run the risk of missing out on some great opportunities.

So, my advice for myself and you is…get out there and take measured chances, speak to new people, learn new things, grow a little every day. Your soul will thank you for the effort.


Fear of Learning

I have had a deep fear of learning, ever since I can remember.  Actually, it is a deeper fear than that.  I also fear taking chances. I fear visiting a new restaurant to reading a new book.

I believe my deep seated fear lies in the chance that I will be made a fool, or shamed in some way.   That I will never be competent in the task at hand.

From my past history, as a child, I felt that I could never truly please my father or meet his lofty expectations.  To avert these feelings of shame and inadequacy, I would just not try.  Problem solved.

I found that if I did not try, I could avoid my father’s critiques, for the most part. Unfortunately, this mindset has followed me into adulthood, and it has had a tremendous affect on the trajectory of my life.

My career or lack there of has languished for years now.  I have come to the conclusion that I am afraid of trying because I feel that I am not competent to do the task.  Funny, since in order to be competent at something, you first have to put in the time and effort to master the skill.

This just leaves me in an endless loop of never fully committing to anything, because of this aversion.  Why does it seem that the majority can push through this cognitive block, and I cannot. I don’t think I fully comprehended how much of an affect it has had on my life and career.

I guess what I am saying is that I am not very conscious or self aware.  It is blind spot that I have dealt with my whole life.  How can I be so blind to the fact that I have been running all these years in place.  I want to be more proactive, and take charge of my life.

I don’t want to languish any longer in a dead end job.  What can I do right now that will get me in a better position in life?  It would best to speak to a career counselor or advisor?  Probably.

Maybe, I am not alone.  I would guess there are others out there that have been on auto pilot in their careers, or just life in general, too?  I am wondering how they have pulled themselves out of this ditch.   

If you care comment, if you have been in the same situation, please do.  I would be curious to what you have to say.

How do I know this time will be different?

Why haven’t I tried more? What in my career and in life in general has caused me to be so blind to the fact that I am not making much progress?

I am passive. I don’t purposefully pursue what is in my best interest for the long run. I am future focused but I am not.   I have not planned out my career, as I should have, and now I am in a bind.

I tell myself that I am going to get my shit together, and that this time it will be different, but really, if I am honest with myself, will it really?  How can I trust myself after pulling this shit, over the past 40+ years.

Am I a loser?  Because I don’t have a wife, a secure cushy job and a four year degree? Possibly, in the eyes of many Americans.  We live our lives by the ideals of our society. If we happen to not meet those expectations, many of us cannot help to feel like we are abject failures.

So, in short, I don’t know if this time it will be different.  All I can do is try my best, and make better plans for my future.  I’m a bit of a dreamer, so it is very easy for me to get lost in my head.  I will just need to be more self aware.

I don’t know what is in store for me, and my future.  I should be grateful for what I have and be thankful that I am healthy.  There are a lot less fortunate people out there in the world, and a person’s personal perspective can become clouded with their less consequential misfortunes, easily.

I guess what I have to say is that nobody is holding my feet to the fire.  If I don’t like my current predicament, well then, I best do something about it.  I plan to go see a career counselor, and I am going to look into completing my bachelors degree.

Complaining and ruminating only saps a person’s energy. It is best to plan a a course of action and take it.  Any direction at this point is fine by me!