Feeling Stuck? Why You’ve Got to Leap Before You Look

November 15, 2014

203433676_6d05c3f43f_o“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

A lot of times we get stuck because we’re afraid to take the next, best step.


We know what we desire. What we crave. But we’re afraid to go for it. Or we think we don’t deserve it. So we suffer through terrible jobs, unfulfilling careers, and all kinds of compromises that only make us feel like shit.


What happens when someone who has multiple talents wants to do various things to express themselves in the world?


The desire to do more than one thing is what draws a lot of people into the entrepreneurial world. It was a big draw for me. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand it.  And some might even be threatened by it.


Years ago, I was told I was “too technical to write.” That’s an exact quote from an HR manager. At the time, I was a software developer and I’d finally made the decision to transition back into writing.  So, I applied for a writing position at a very well-known financial publication. My resume listed my previous writing positions, my B.A. degree in English, my A.A.S. in Advertising & Communications degree, my experience as a copywriter–but none of it mattered.


When the HR person saw the IT experience on my resume, she refused to accept that a writer and a coder could exist in one person. So she dismissed it. I even offered to send writing samples. She said, no.


On another occasion I interviewed for a position as a development writer at an arts organization. This time the HR manager was fine with my technical background. But when he sent me to talk to the department manager, she ignored my portfolio, the book I’d written, the blog posts and articles I’d done, and focused entirely on my technical writing.


Yet again, according to someone’s limited thinking, I could only do one thing.


I’m sure you’ve been to interviews like that. Where you knew the decision had already been made before you even opened your mouth. This was one of those times.  Funny how after I became a freelance writer, no one had a problem with me having a technical background. They hired me to write copy, articles, brochures, etc.–and never questioned my previous work experiences.


If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had someone sell you short. They’ve dismissed you, or overlooked you or been sure you weren’t the right fit.


Not because you couldn’t do the work, but because you didn’t fit their expectation of what  you should be.


We can go into the whys and wherefores. The limited thinking, the fears, the “-isms” that some people are unable to get past–even when they have evidence to the contrary.


But nobody’s got time for that.


That’s one of the reasons I decided to explore entrepreneurship. Why I was ready to break free of the restrictions of the corporate world. I wanted to chart my own course. Control my own destiny as much as I could. Stop trying to fit into a box that I didn’t belong in, just to make other people more comfortable.


Have you ever limited yourself? Talked badly about yourself to make others feel better? Been afraid to claim your gifts because of what others might say?


Lowered yourself to a level where no one will accuse you of thinking you’re “too” good, or too valuable?


How did it make you feel?


If you’re doing that now, how is it working for you?  My guess is, it isn’t.


There comes a time when you’ve got to step out in faith. I’m not talking religion here. I mean faith that you know what’s best for you. That you have to follow your star, your destiny, and go where your heart is leading you.


I’ve learned that you can’t find your fulfillment outside of yourself. Validation isn’t coming from outside. Wining someone over who doesn’t get you (or like you), is not going to do anything to help you get what you need.


It’s about feeding your soul. Answering your call. Doing what’s right for you.  It’s about stepping out in faith, even when you don’t see where you’re going to land.


You really can do it. No matter how crazy, scary, bleak it might look at the moment.


I believe in you.


Just have faith.

Copyright © 2014 Deborah A. Bailey

Photo Credit: moriza via Compfight cc


Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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