The Greatest Lie

Just like most secrets we keep it comes down to feeling ashamed. Back then, if I was to admit how I felt I would expose my mistakes. That would present me as a failure to the entire world. Facing the truth about my life was terrifying. My greatest lie was that I was fine. But the truth was that even though I loved my job, it was killing me.  But trying to figure out what to do instead– that was a tall order.

 

This is the fourth article in a series about how I went from an overworked and overstressed big city woman to a relaxed hill country ditto. 

 

In my previous articles, I told you how my husband and I took on a monumental life changing decision. We set out a goal of achieving financial freedom and tone down the frenetic tempo we ran our lives by.

That meant selling our beautiful house in the suburbs and moving to the outback of Sweden.

Love, Sex and Money

It took me some time to read the signs. Photo Austin Chan

Facing the truth about my life was terrifying because the task of fixing it seemed so colossal that I didn’t know where to start.

 

I had a great job. I loved all aspects about it. And I made good money so I could by shoes whenever I felt like it. I worked with environmental issues and green energy. In the world today that is even sexier than being a surgeon or a pilot.

 

Everybody wanted to know about my work. Everybody thought I was helping the world to become a better place. The self-esteem boost of my business card was enormous.

 

There was just one minor itsy-bitsy thing; the job almost killed me. The pressure was high, the hours long. The inside of my head was filled to the rim of work related issues. I was always working; a normal week started on a Monday but didn’t end until 2 weeks later.

 

Or just put it in simple text: I had a great job but it came with a price tag. And that price tag was high.

You know it’s stupid, right?

Wanting to stop smoking but still feed the rebel inside you. Stupid, right? Photo Charles Deluvio

Deep down inside I knew there was something wrong with my setup. I mean – it didn’t say in my job description that I should cry alone in my car or lose my short-term memory. But still I kept at it and went to ridiculous lengths to preserve a status quo, even when I could not stand it.

 

If you’re honest – you most likely recognize this thick headed behavior. We all tend to go to ridiculous lengths to preserve a status quo.

 

For example if you are struggling to lose weight but at the same time trying to hold onto your freedom to eat whatever the hell you want. Or seeking to stop smoking but still feed that rebel inside you that love lighting up that cigarette.

Stupid, right?

The dark side of the brain

My mind went to the dark side. Photo Mathew Macquarrie

When I tried to look for a solution or light at the end of my tunnel vision I could not see any hope. I feared the change. I was afraid that if I changed my situation I would go broke or become homeless.

 

My brain went into a dark what-if mode. I could only imagine that my situation could get worse. Not better.

 

When I imagined the future I left out all the good stuff. I focused on losing my income, running out of money, looking for jobs but getting turned down.

 

I never considered all the support I would get for standing up for myself. Or the relief of not commuting to a job that made me sick? Or strengthening my marriage by actually having time and presence to do stuff together with my husband.

 

What about the possibility that finding a new job also would bring joy into my life?

Is this the direction you want to take?

Ask yourself some questions about direction. Photo Deanna Ritchie

Financial pressure robs you of confidence about the future and that uncertainty reduces risk taking.

 

This results in getting stuck. The problem with us adults is that instead of trying we’re all focused on getting it perfect. What ever happened to good enough? Why do we need to make the right decision every time?

 

When we’re constantly worried about making the right choice we become paralyzed.

 

Think about it in terms of your own life. If you continue to make the same easy choices you make right now, what does your life look like in 2020? Do you have the body you want? Do you have the life you desire? How’s’ your job? Ask yourself; is this the direction you want your life to take?

I felt ashamed

I finally asked myself that question and truly listened to the answer and faced the truth. Because that’s crucial; to kill your resistance you must face the truth. The truth is powerful. I had to admit that things had really gotten bad and that if there was going to be a real change in my life, I needed to fight for it.

 

Facing the truth about your life can be terrifying because once you do the task of fixing it can seem so enormous that you won’t know where to start. If you hate your job it easy to look for the same job somewhere else, but trying to figure out what to do with your life – that’s a ball buster.

Learn to ride that wave

Like me you probably resist solving big problems because you feel uncertain whether you can. And your brain helps you out by pretending the problems don’t bother you – it is a clever trick. However, the reason you don’t take action is the same every time – you are scared.

 

Life has its ups and downs. And when you go for what you want in life this is exactly what you signed up for; if you don’t learn to ride the wave, the wave will crush you. There will always be setbacks, so you must learn how to deal with them.

You have to learn riding the wave. Photo Tim Marshall

 

Why not starting right now?

3 things you can learn from me

 

 

  1.  Learn to ride. Life has its ups and downs. When you go for what you want in life this is exactly what you signed up for. If you don’t learn to ride the wave it will crush you. Learn how to handle setbacks because they are a natural part of life.
  2. Face the truth. The truth is powerful. I had to admit how things really were before I could make any real change in my life.
  3. Which directions are you headed? Think about it in terms of your own life. What does your life look like in 5 years? 2023 will come the question is where will you be? A random place or a place you choose yourself?

Previous articles in the series Things to remember, Economic Independence  and Out of the Cave

Stay tuned. Coming up I write about: Realizing I was not as likeable as I thought…

 

Bringing More Courage to the World – One Post at a Time

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1 Response

  1. Jennie says:

    Wow så bra text. Du är så stark som vågade ta steget. Saknar dig. Kram

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