Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cold Feet

I think I've already told you guys that I'm a worrier and an obsessor. So that means that at any given time of every single day, I'm worrying or mulling over something in my head. Sometimes it gets so bad that I'll be hardcore worried about something and a few minutes later I can't even remember what I was worrying about, but the feelings of stress and worry are still my body. I'm consumed most days by worry over things that I can't control.

Sometimes, when a lot of hectic things are going on I'll have little fits where I become obsessed with ONE thing that I think I can control and I'll stop at nothing to complete this one task. This is what happened when I sold my house. I couldn't control when my house was going to sell, but I could control the new things I needed for my apartment. I seriously spent about a week freaking out about what shower curtain I should buy for the apartment I didn't even have.

sigh. I know, it's bad.

Seriously though, I'm learning to control it. I know I've mentioned several times that I'm working on my stress and I've seen leaps and bounds of progress just by changing the way I think. I've learned some basic stress management skills and when I find myself in a state of panic, I rely on these skills and I talk my way through the stress. Why else do you think I have SO many pep talks with myself!? I've learned that every time that I am on the "what if" ledge, that I should keep pushing myself and take the what if to the most absolute (but realistic) circumstance and then tell myself I can get through it.

I know I have these skills. I know that stress is nothing but a lack of confidence. I know that I cannot control certain things in life and that's okay. I KNOW these things and I tell myself these things, but it doesn't change the fact that sometimes the stress still seeps in.  I started working on managing my stress in June or July of this year and I seriously have been doing a fantastic job. I have been feeling SO much better about life and I started implementing structure into my life and I was able to bring some of the quirks and characteristics of my old self back into my life and learn to stop being embarrassed about them. Instead of feeling like I was stuck in a miserable life with no way out, I decided to become a positive thinker and to decide what I really wanted in life.

One of those things is obviously a new career. But I have to admit, as excited as I am and as happy as it makes me to think about what my new life is going to be like with a fantastic job that I'm passionate about, that stress has been seeping in. I've been going through major bouts of cold feet regarding this decision. The cold feet started as soon as I considered going back to school. I kept throwing ALL these negative thoughts at myself and I was focusing ONLY on the negative aspects of making this change. This would be a pay decrease from a life in finance. I will be a poor college kid for the next 3.5 years. I will accumulate MORE student debt. What will my family think? Is this even feasible?

I even read an article this morning about the top 10 areas for job growth, expecting something in the dietetics/nutrition field to be present because of all the talk about healthcare reform and instead I saw "Senior Financial Analyst," which is the career path I'm on right now.

But as all of these negative thoughts keep flooding in, I keep thinking about my life now and how I'm not happy with where my career is going. The one saving grace for me when I start experiencing cold feet is to think about what I'll be doing. It's to read books about the profession, or read the blogs of RDs or to read about what Ellie Krieger does each day and how RD's help other people. Everytime I read those things, it's like my body is consumed with excitement and I just know in my gut that this is a great step for me and it's the right step.  Then I give myself that pep talk and say, "I can do anything that I want and I will be successful because I define success for myself." I recognize that excitement and stress feel the same way to the body, so when I feel stress, I need to just convince myself it's excitement instead.

I have a fortune from a fortune cookie of many years ago on a picture of me and my dad on my nightstand. I actually completely forgot this was there until last night when I saw it again. It says something along the lines of: "Today might be the day to make some decisions based on your instincts." I realized my instincts tell me that I'm going to be a fantastic RD. My instincts tell me that helping people and sharing the gift of healthy living with other people is what will make me the most happy. My instincts tell me this profession is going to keep me motivated to continue my own healthy lifestyle. My instincts tell me a career as a RD it will give me the stability and safety that I need in life. 

So today and tomorrow and every day in the future that I start to get cold feet, I'm going to turn to my instincts. My instincts tell me I'm getting cold feet because this is a big change and change is scary - not because I'm making a mistake. My instincts are MINE and therefore I will only listen to myself and not listen to everyone else. I don't care who supports me and who doesn't, I'm doing this for me and me only.  

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