experienced moments of living authentically, and I want desperately to move my
whole life into that current. The trouble I face is this: I feel
"called" by two very different things. I've spent the past
fifteen years flip-flopping between them; first as an actress and singer and
second mathematics. Most recently, as I
was about to do my first round of professional opera auditions, my family moved
to the woods of Maine and there's no opera to speak of here. I enrolled
in a music production program and now I'm longing for math and I'm considering
a Master's in economics, while I produce my music on the side.
I long to find satisfaction with my work and know I'm using both my analytical mind and my creative mind to make a positive difference in my community. I feel like a fool in the eyes of my in-laws and other onlookers who respect consistency and practicality. I just wonder...how do I stop flip-flopping?
It sounds like you have two very beautiful and powerful gifts. What I know is this, the more amazing options you have, the more difficult we can make it on ourselves to choose only one.
It is wonderful that you have an interest in living authentically. I feel the discontent you have in saying you have been flip-flopping.
My question for you is, authentically speaking, what is wrong with living as a flip-flopper? You noted that you feel like a fool… in the eyes of my in-laws and other onlookers. You are the only one who can choose to feel like a fool. You already understand no one can create this feeling in you. Dare I say you are one of those judging onlookers?
Start by being kind to yourself, afterall, we are hardest on ourselves and question who we authentically are, especially when we are different than those around us. Here is an example:
One of my clients was successful, creative and energetic. She told me she didn’t have enough time to spend relaxing. It sounded like a common issue for so many of us. After a deeper inquiry to her thoughts and possible solutions for more free time, she discovered she didn’t want a solution to create time. She actually loved being busy and really just wanted to feel good about who she was! It was another voice in her ear telling her “you are doing too much” and “why can’t you be happy where you are at?” Once she let go of believing the voice, she was able to enjoy her busy and filling life without judgment.
So do you believe that you are too flip-floppy? Do you have a voice telling you, “You should be consistent and practical” or “If you really had it together, you would choose something” going off like an alarm in your head? If so, you might find discovering what YOU authentically believe to be a powerful next step on your journey. You can do this through a coach, mentor, friend or using meditation, journaling or many other tools to help you connect with how you really feel. I see you as “well-rounded” and “flexible” instead of “flip-floppy” and like the difference in those positive words.
If you find you really do love your ever changing possibilities in life, it is time to learn to stand up with confidence about it! Say out loud and often, “Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a time that I can have it all?” or “I love singing and math and doing both creates a unique experience in my world that I adore!”
Now what if you find that you do not, in fact, love living with two choices and want to move forward in one direction? Then you might wish to opt to use the other as an outside passion. The fact that you can be a professional performer who enjoys mathematical clubs and puzzles on nights and weekends or become a mathematical engineer who sings in the shower, small choirs and at friend’s weddings are both realities that could fulfill your needs.
Finally, if you are someone who is hard on yourself regularly, I have found putting up notes for previous positive decisions to be powerful. For example, if you choose to accept your flexible nature, write it down and put it on your fridge. You might write, “I am so glad and grateful to choose to live the flexible, ever-changing lifestyle I truly love!” It helps separate negative thought from your authentic reality.
We all have choices in this world. Choosing to fully accept who you are ends the negative dialog in our heads, so we can get out of inertia and move forward towards success!
smiles and inspiration!
You can find out more about Rain and life coaching at her website:
Copyright 2009 by Rain Fordyce
Read Past Ask Rain Columns