A week this coming Thursday, the next Lab Rat series officially kicks off which means I have four new people ready to enter the maze, Jim, Cat, Brett & Barb (yes another Brett – not the same one from the last series). This week, I will introduce you to each of them, starting with Jim today.
In what way do you feel that you are stuck in a rut? What have you wanted to accomplish but never done? What’s holding you back? What’s not working in your life?
In many ways, I do move out of my comfort zone, but I always get dragged back in. I’ve never really planned my future, never really had long-term dreams that I could commit to. I just let things happen to me. People think I’m adventurous (which is true) but they don’t see the life-rut that I’ve made for myself.
I’ve always wanted to live somewhere else. I grew up only a few kilometers from where I live. I didn’t go away for school. I’ve never lived in any other city. There’s such a big world out there. I want to experience it, not just visit it.
I think I need a job change, or even a career change. If I was courageous enough, I’d figure out a way to make it on my own. I’ve been involved with computers all my life. I like it, but it might be time for a change.
I’ve been afraid of failing (and succeeding) for as long as I remember. That fear exerts a lot of pressure on me, making me “play it safe.”
What sort of supports do you have (or don’t have) in your life? Who is there cheering (or jeering) you along?
I have a wonderful and loving partner, Heidi, who is 1800 km away. We’ve known each other for nearly a year and a half, and we’ve been striving to figure out the path of our relationship for some time, especially since she moved away. We’re very close, both focused on growth, striving to be the best selves we can be, so that we can be healthy in whatever relationship we have together. I also have the support of my family, who are (mostly) local, and my two young children (an 8-year-old and a 7-year-old). I have them with me half the time, and I love them dearly.
I’ve made a number of new friends over the last few months. They are also supportive of my honesty and willingness to grow.
What variety of the Someday Syndrome affects you the most? Is there one that doesn’t affect you at all?
They all affect me, to varying degrees. I’ve certainly not set any long-term goals for myself, so I’m clearly waiting for “my ship to come in”. I do suffer from procrastination. I sometimes find distractions to fill my time that allow me to dodge the important questions. I’ve definitely reduced the clutter in my life, but I still have too much “stuff”. Simple is better.
What have you tried up until now to get unstuck? Why do you think it didn’t work?
Shortly after the disintegration of my marriage, I was living in a two bedroom apartment with just a few items, and a room for the kids. The rest of my “stuff” was in storage, and I rarely thought about it. I was happy then, able to choose things that made me happy, not things I felt I must or should do.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped focusing on the present. I bought a house, but I’m not finished decorating it (I’ve stalled on that). I’ve lost momentum, and filled my life with time-consuming tasks and distractions that steal time.
Fear has crept back in. I’m suffering from self-esteem issues again, which is ridiculous. I’m actually an interesting and successful person that has much to offer, but I have negative thought patterns that are well established, and powerful enough to overcome my rational self. I’ve been seeking help for this, but it’s all part of the bigger puzzle.
What do you hope to gain from this Lab Rat experience? What do you picture happening at the end of the process?
I want to be able to move forward, perhaps changing my career. I wish I could move, but I can’t take the kids with me, so that’s out of the question for now. I want to simplify, focus, find happiness in myself, not just the approval of others. I want to have the confidence to make major life decisions, confident that, no matter what, happiness is present in all things. I want to live, not just exist. I want to succeed. I want to fail. I want to move past the fear. I want to become one of those people who do live their dreams, instead of just hearing the voice in my head saying “I could never do that”.
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