I like to wear many hats. The trouble is that all it takes is a major life event to knock all of your hats askew. Ok, enough with the hats. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, piggy-backing off of my previous post about sacrificing your ego.
Now I am someone who is usually pretty good at staying driven. That’s why I enjoy encouraging other people to focus on their passion. But recently I just have not been able to perform the way I’m used to. And it’s caused my confidence to take a severe hit.
I’ve been faced with some pretty serious mental hurdles the last two months or so. In addition to moving my family yet again, I added another part-time job to go along with my full-time real estate business and the part-time acting/singing that I do. You could probably understand how I could feel overwhelmed.
My brain has literally felt like it was being pulled in a million different directions. In fact the last time I remember feeling this way was when I was in the middle of a 2.5 year project in which I wrote and recorded an original rock opera with my brothers. It seemed as though any new information automatically knocked the old stuff right out of my head. I felt as if I was getting dumber by the second. I thought for sure that something critical with one of my many responsibilities would be forgotten or overlooked, leading to some sort of catastrophe. Not the least of all is that I started to feel as if I was being so pulled apart that no part of me was actually being effective in any particular area of my life. My real estate business suffered. My creative arts pursuits suffered. And most importantly, my family suffered.
It’s been 2.5 years since I left my day job and decided to become a real estate agent. When I started, I admit, I thought I would be taking over the world by now. Not financially, but at least from a consistent operations standpoint. I didn’t expect to still be grinding it out every single day trying to scrape together enough business to survive. But up to this point the struggle has been worth it because I was enjoying the process. That was until a few months ago. Everything hit me at once. While buying our house was the fulfillment of a decade’s long dream, taking on some extra hours to make ends meet after 2.5 years of self-employment seemed like the death of another dream. Being pulled in these opposite directions caused something within me to tear a little bit. And honestly, I am still trying to navigate the emotional aspect of it all.
Each day that passed in which I didn’t accomplish something I deemed to be important felt like a slow death inside me. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day to generate more real estate business, train on a new job, pack up a house, negotiate the real estate transaction, and pursue my dream. I was overwhelmed, and instead of crying out for help in prayer, I cried and pouted. Instead of organizing my life to be more productive, I began to agonize. Instead of focusing on the solutions to my problems, I became fixated on my problems. All of these things combined didn’t help alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed but rather they snowballed into an avalanche of insecurity, frustration, and absolute fear.
I want to feel productive. I want to feel like everything I’m doing is working. And most importantly, I want it to be easy. But instead I feel like everything right now is testing my intestinal fortitude. Things that always came easy seem incredibly difficult when faced with this level of insecurity. For instance, writing for this blog and recording the podcast. Learning my lines and working on my character for my current theater production has never been more difficult.
I know people are counting on me but right now that thought only puts more pressure on me to succeed, which is not something that is healthy considering the amount of pressure I already put on myself. I feel like I’m rambling and writing run-on sentences right now because it’s taking every ounce of focus and discipline within me to write a coherent sentence rather then simply highlight all and delete.
Anyway, I’ve decided to focus on one small item at a time to limit the overwhelming feeling that comes every time I look at my current circumstances. That item? Memorizing my lines for The Little Mermaid. Seems trivial and simple enough but nothing is scarier than the thought of going in front of hundreds of people unprepared. Believe me I have felt that way before and recently at rehearsals I have felt like I have been letting people down with my lack of preparation. I am someone that has always prided himself on being the most prepared, the most knowledgeable, the most thoroughly equipped, but right now that is simply not the case. Hopefully, by taking each item as they come, I’ll be able to stop putting added pressure on myself and start performing up to the level I know that I’m capable of.
I’m writing this blog post because I am hoping to be able to look back at this period of life and take comfort in having lived through it and come out on the other end stronger as a result of these circumstances. But for now, I just wish I had the energy, the motivation, and the confidence to snap out of it.