DANGER: On Getting Out of Your Own Way

Have you ever had an experience where things are exciting! and rapidly falling into place! And yet, you find yourself again and again trampling all over your best intentions and throwing road blocks between yourself and the life that you’ve been working towards?

Why is it that sometimes, we are our own biggest saboteur?

There have been times in my life when in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds that I have crumpled under the pressure – deliberately checking out, refusing to check my email, and permitting myself the excuse of needing time and space in order to figure it all out. 

Those moments have almost always been preceded by the delicious (and nerve-wracking) unfurling of a dream that had been in the making for many months or years.

It has appeared in moments where I have become frightened that everything is going to be different now or that the sheer thought of living my life at that new, exciting level was so exhausting that I wanted to toss my hat in the ring before I even began.

When I fell in love with C. 

When people started reading Medicinal Marzipan. 

When I opened my coaching practice. 

When I’ve done things that I have gone after with every last little bit of what I have to offer – digging deep, staying focused, and refusing to settle for anything less than the best case scenario.

Now, I’d like to introduce a caveat here: I am not talking about not taking care of yourself. There are many moments when your body is telling you to slow down, because you’re doing is big and important work. I am not advocating ignoring your body’s cues for rest and relaxation.

I’m talking about that I’m-just-going-to-stick-my-head-in-the-sand, because I’ll probably fuck this all up anyway and no one will blame me for failing if I don’t give it my all kind of feeling.

That moment where all of the things that you have been praying for start falling into place, and the immediacy and promise of your own success has you heading for the hills.

I am empathically inviting you to turn around and stand up straight, because you are worth more than that. 

Please listen to me, when I say:

It can be much more frightening to burn like the sparkly, passionate, gorgeous, genius star that you are than to run from your successes and hide in the corner.

It is easy to make (and keep) yourself small – chances are you’ve been doing it for much of your life. 

Why is it that we hate to be caught succeeding?

What is the part of our hearts that sabotage our best of intentions, but allowing all of our old narratives to pop up and overwhelm us during a moment of tender, new vulnerability?

What do we need to bolster our fledgling superstar tendencies, so that they are sheltered by the storms of our own making?

Take stock of who you are and what you have to offer the world, and act accordingly. 

You are wise beyond your years.

You have amazing ideas.

You have the capacity for forming relationships that are beautiful and romantic and intimate.

You have mastered the skills of elbow-grease – carefully honed over years and years of working diligently building someone else’s dream. 

You are beautiful, exactly as you are.

Your body is GORGEOUS, right this very second.

Darling – do yourself a favor and start acting like the knockout that you are, and that includes allowing all of your hard work and perseverance to pay off. 

Take action, right this second: In the comments, let us know one thing that you are going to do this week to hold yourself accountable and invest in your own success.

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11 thoughts on “DANGER: On Getting Out of Your Own Way”

  1. Great post, Mara! We were just talking about this this morning, actually – how success can be scary, to the point that we let old, fear-driven habits overtake us in the midst of following our dreams. When we stop being so afraid and start living the way we truly want to live, not the way we think we *should*, amazing things can happen. Thanks for this reminder!

  2. I am going to take practical to steps to finding an apartment in the new town I’m moving to in 2 months. Since I can’t afford to fly out to MA and look at places myself, and internet searching is getting frustrating, I am going to call some of the rental companies instead of getting anxious, upset, and think that I shouldn’t be making this move to grad school and a new future at all. I won’t let my anxiety about major life decisions stand in my way!

  3. Oh my goodness Mara, this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. The funny thing is that I have read your blog several times before, but I found my way to you today via your post on the B-School Facebook. I love what you wrote about how much more frightening it is for us to shine than hide in the corner. So true! You have inspired me to really put myself out there this week!

    P.S. Congrats on your recent workshop! Way to own your worth! 🙂

  4. I cried when I got this in my inbox. Incredible timing. I’m so scared of having my own project in the world.

    This week, I will go ahead and put everything that I already have on a drafted site I’m working on.

  5. Brilliant post! I know exactly what you’re talking about. There are random categories in my life where I sometimes get that feeling of well-I’ll-probably-mess-up-so-why-bother, even though everything points to the opposite! I know that I can do things successfully, but fear of failure makes me end up sabotaging myself!

  6. YES! I enjoyed this post immensely because I have been witnessing how my inner saboteur has been wanting to squish my recent life successes. I feel proud that I have stood up tall and chosen to embrace these successes (new job in a town by the ocean) and marched forward. Thank you! ~Lisa

  7. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for creating this platform and community where I feel welcome, understood, inspired and encouraged. This post literally let me breathe a sigh of relief…
    Most of my life I’ve been told to be smaller and invisible. In size. In voice. In spirit. In being wholly me. So as an aspiring singer things have been falling into place and it’s terrifying. And the yuck about that is the things that bring me the most joy where I can really shine and always make me feel good when I’m present end up freaking me out the most.
    Owning that I’m worth it, owning that I’m not perfect and no one is and doesnt’ have to be, owning my joy and REALLY being in it is a work in progress.
    So this week I promise myself the joy of going to my singer/songwriter class. I won’t skip it and make excuses to bypass my joy.

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