“Go jump off a cliff. Don’t go near the cliff and contemplate jumping off. Don’t read a book about jumping off. Don’t study the art and science of jumping off. Don’t join a support group for jumping off. Don’t write poems about jumping off. Don’t kiss the ass of someone else who jumped off. Just jump.” ~Jed McKenna
I took jump off an enormous cliff about six months ago now when I quit my full-time job. I’ve been remarkably blessed with the way that has turned out. I jumped, and a net appeared in the form of the part-time position I currently have, which is better than anything I could have dreamed up for my present situation. It’s taught me a lot about trusting the universe.
Now I find myself ready to jump off a cliff again, and I feel like I’m back to square one. When I jumped off a few months ago, I was jumping away from something into the unknown. Now I’m jumping toward something (the beginnings of self-employment), and even though it is still in many ways jumping into the unknown, it feels completely different.
In jumping toward something specific, I am encountering my fear of failing in a whole different way. This is more than just trusting the universe to help me out, this is also trusting myself to be up to the challenge. And the latter is where I’m struggling.
Despite my training, I still feel so inadequate as both a yoga teacher and a Reiki Master. The thought of putting myself out there as a professional in either area is terrifying! And after that comes something even more terrifying: I need to start working on writing now that all my time is not taken up with classwork. Because my longing for this runs even deeper and the training for it is completely nonexistent (in a formal sense), my feelings of inadequacy run deeper than ever.
Therefore, I am spending enormous amounts of time pacing near the cliff contemplating jumping. I spend time brainstorming business names (and checking for availability of the associated URLs) and possible locations to teach. I research business registration requirements, insurance, and tax information. I check out additional training I could consider. I debate the pros and cons of all the possible ways I can market myself to certain niche populations or locations. And while all of these things are important, I’m not making any forward progress.
As Jed says, though, there’s only one way to deal with this: just jump. I need to pick something and start moving. Pick a name, pick a URL, create a website, buy some insurance, set a pricing scheme, pick a location and make a case to the owner for why they should let me teach there. I will probably make mistakes, but I can fix those. I can’t fix inactivity.
It sounds so easy. It feel so hard … and feels lonelier than ever. That’s the thing about self-employment; even when others support me, the buck now stops with me.
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