Looking for accountability: Introducing Lab Rat Barb

This week has been all about the Lab Rats: Jim, Cat, Brett and now Barb. Each of the four participants in this Lab Rat series brings something different to the experience and having seen the comments, I know that everyone of you will find someone to identify with.

The Lab Rats are busily exploring the first maze I set them and next Thursday we’ll see the results of that first experiment. Before that, however, let’s get to Barb’s introduction.

Barb live in the suburbs of Chicago, has two sons both in college, been divorced about three years, but she’s met a wonderful man that she loves deeply. Oh, and she’s the Director of Software Quality Assurance at a software development company.

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?
There’s probably a list of things that I would like to accomplish and I just can’t get myself un-stuck.  I make up excuses for not doing the things I’ve wanted to; everything from returning to school to taking Yoga classes.  I just can’t commit.  Even when I have done some things that are out of the box for me… I run right back in and quit (again, making a plethora of excuses).

What sort of supports do you have (or don’t have) in your life? Who is there cheering (or jeering) you along?
Both my sons are my biggest supporters and cheer me on through everything.  My best friend Jacqui is another person who believes in me and makes be feel I can do anything.  Lee, the man in my life, is an incredible support and encourages me at every turn.  My immediate family (parents and sister) are probably the biggest nay-sayers in my life and I have a pretty negative message going on in my head because of it.

What variety of the Someday Syndrome affects you the most? Is there one that doesn’t affect you at all?
My main problem is “I’ll Get Around To It Someday” with a pretty good dose of “Someday My Ship Will Come In.”    When I listen to the excuses that I make for not doing something; it’s a lot of what I was told when I was growing up.   You’ll be happy when….you lose weight, when your face clears up, when you graduate, when you get a job, when you get married and so on and so on.  Living life and/or being happy was something that was supposed to come later.  I don’t know exactly when later was supposed to come.  The “I Might Need It Someday” syndrome effects me less and with specificity.  I’m embarrassed to say that I have multiple pairs of jeans in every size from 2-14 that I save in case I’m ever that size again.  😦

What have you tried up until now to get unstuck? Why do you think it didn’t work?
I did get very unstuck about 5 years ago after attending a leadership development program through my work.  I did a lot professional and personal work over about 6 months that really gave me a lot insights into myself and where I was with my life at the time.  It was a great experience and it gave me the strength to end a very unhappy marriage.

What do you hope to gain from this Lab Rat experience? What do you picture happening at the end of the process?
What’s worked for me in the past is having someone to be accountable to; for me it’s always helped to feel like I have to answer to someone and actually DO all the things that I say I’m going to.  I know I should be able to be accountable to myself and do things just for me; but it doesn’t seem to work that way.  Again, I know this has a lot to do with how I was raised; and there was always that fear of disappointing someone and I guess I still am driven by that.  I want to take it to the next level now.  I want to stop holding myself back and to achieve the things that I dream about.  I’m not looking for this experience to just help me achieve one thing in life; I’m looking for the tools to help me achieve everything that I know that I’m capable of.

Don’t forget that you can get in on the Someday-Busting Conversations through the forums. Sign up and join in on the fun!

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6 thoughts on “Looking for accountability: Introducing Lab Rat Barb

  1. A. Nony Mous says:

    I’m in the same place as you. My immediate family are the biggest nay-sayers in my life too.
    The effects of that on your life are HUGE!
    I’ll be watching how you do in the “lab rat maze” and cheering you on!

  2. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Barb and Alex – You have jeans in a lot of sizes. I try to stick to a couple of sizes, so I can’t put too much weight on. It doesn’t always work though – especially if you cheat and wear stretchy stuff when the big size gets too tight, as I do.

    @A Nony Mous – I know where you’re coming from. I actually stopped speaking to most of my immediate family for much of last year. I can’t say it really worked but I got a bit of peace for a while.

  3. Families – sometimes I wonder if half of us would be better off without them.

    Barb, I think it sounds like you’ve already made some big changes in your life. Ending a marriage is always hard. So, you are definitely up for making more changes. I can completely relate to needing someone to keep you in check with goals. It annoys me so much that I am like this, and it makes me feel kind of pathetic that I always do so well in a structured environment, but struggle alone. Especially because I find my inherent nature prefers an unstructured environment. It’s a total head trip!

    I know Alex is going to be able to help you sort through some stuff. Enjoy the journey.


    Kelly@SHE-POWER´s last blog post..Celebrating Australia Day

  4. Alex Fayle says:

    @A. Nony Mous
    I’ve always considered myself very lucky – my family are super supportive. It something I definitely appreciate because so many families aren’t.

    I too have pants in a few sizes – each year I tend to slide up or down a couple of inches, which really makes a difference in pants. Shirts no so much, but pants, for sure…

    I agree that Barb has already taken some major steps in her life. I love seeing people choosing to continue their journeys to clear all of the Somedays from their lives. I also have a love/hate relationship with structure. Total head trip, yes!

  5. Karen Swim says:

    Hi Barb! I think it’s wonderful that you continue to take control of busting your Someday Syndrome. I have learned that growth and change are a life long process. I know that your story will resonate with so many and I really appreciate you submitting yourself to the process publicly. Alex is wonderful and I know he will guide you gently (shoving lovingly when needed) through the process. 🙂 Now, honey go give away all those jeans not in your current size and celebrate who you are right now. If your size ever changes, you’ll buy new jeans!

    Karen Swim´s last blog post..Say What? The New Age of Comunication

  6. Alex Fayle says:

    It is definitely a life-long process. I keep discovering little Somedays that I repeatedly have to remove…

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