A recent video post by one of my favorite inspirational life coaches Christine Hassler really resonated with me. In “How to know if you are settling,” she asserts that, if you are constantly trying to talk yourself into something, you are most likely settling.
As I listened, I realized that I am constantly talking myself into staying at my job, while I know in my gut that I’d be much happier if I had control over my own schedule and didn’t have to get up at 4 a.m. and go to work 6 days a week. (Duh, who wouldn’t be, right?) Sometimes I see a huge disconnect between my passions and values and goals — downshifting, simplifying, slowing down, writing — and how I am actually living my life right now.
I believe that a lot of us are dealing with the same issues as we try to find our own work/life balances, and I know that it’s all part of the process, but occasionally, I can’t help but feel like a hypocrite or an impostor, and I tend to beat myself up for it.
What am I afraid of? Money is always a factor. Unfortunately, many of the major decisions I’ve made in my life were driven by my deep need for financial security. My “overhead” is fairly low, and I currently have enough savings to “coast” for a few years without an income, but then what? What about health insurance? I’m in my 40’s now, and my husband just turned 60. Without health insurance, a major health setback could be a major financial setback as well. My husband is self-employed, so no employer-provided health benefits there. And private health insurance is insanely expensive, especially when you don’t have a regular income. Then there’s that big government pension (HA!) that I’ll get when I retire, if I live long enough to enjoy it…
Does this mean that I should give up my dream of downshifting? Do I keep working for the man, trapped by the regular paychecks, health benefits, and the promise of a tiny pension 17 years from now? Dear God, I hope not!
I know myself well enough by now to know that I do better with slow, moderate changes than with huge drastic ones. I continue to take steps in the direction that I want my life to go, and I am pleased with my progress so far, for the most part. I plan to “retire” in less than 5 years, and am getting my financial ducks in a row so that I can do so without sacrificing my sense of security. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even be able to shorten that timeline. I believe that I’ll know when I’m ready to make the final leap. Of course, I will share the details of my “exit strategy” and continue to update you on my progress in future posts. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient, stay focused on the end goal, and try not to let myself get impatient or depressed or distracted. This too shall pass. Right?
So what about you? What are you trying to talk yourself into? How are you settling, and what, if anything, are you going to do about it?