It’s time to take up some of our favorite myths and dispel them. (That’s DIS-pel, not misspell, although I’ve done that, too.) We believe things we hear, and then are disappointed when they don’t come true for us. The bright side is that while these myths won’t work for you, other wonderful things are just behind them, waiting to delight you.
1. You cannot have it all. And you don’t want it all because you will need a place to keep it and you’ll have to dust it regularly. Having it all causes financial, time, and relationship strain. Pick what you really want and go after it with all your effort.
2. Even in America, you cannot be anything you want. I will never be a voice soloist. I’m tone deaf, and I can’t find the right notes, and if you play me two notes, I cannot tell you which is higher. So that solo career will not happen for me. Even if I practice seven hours a day. I’d love to be able to sing “Happy Birthday,” but the last time I sang with a song, three people left the table. Here’s the good news: half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at and not doing it. Then take the extra time and get better at something you are already good at.
3. Change happens whether you want it to or not. Practice flexibility. Figure out how to negotiate your way when the ground shifts under you. This is as true in jobs as in personal relationships. You can’t live in your comfort zone all your life. Get out there and be uncomfortable. It’s good for you.
4. Being a loner does not turn you into the Unibomber or a freak. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are an alarming number of my high school classmates that are no longer with us. If you are a woman you will probably outlive your mate. Practice being alone and happy. You’ll be happy you figured it out when you need it. Finding yourself alone and having no idea how to handle it is a double shock.
5. Danger is not lurking at every corner. Making decisions out of fear creates an ugly life, not a safe one. Fear leads to wrinkles, paranoia, hating Rachel Ray’s scarf, and other emotions that constipate your life. Fear is a way people use to manipulate you into their tight little views. Give up fear and watch the sun come out, brighten your life, warm your soul. But don’t forget to put on sunblock.
–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and writer. She is also an artist, speaker and workshop leader. She is not, and never will be, a singer, ballerina, theoretical mathematician, or CIA operative. And she’s OK with that. See her work at QuinnCreative.com