Get Out of Your Own Damn Way / by Nicole Paulus

Get Out of Your Own Damn Way

I can’t tell you how long I’ve had “write NNM newsletter/blog” on my to-do list. I’ve been so busy juggling my paid clients that I kept pushing my own projects further and further down the list. This also goes for my other project, www.ReproJustice.com.

At one point, I even tried to wrangle my sister into the ReproJustice project so she could help me manage it while I spun other things. She seemed into the idea at first, but when I saw that she wasn’t fueling it with as much enthusiasm and passion as I wanted her to, I was a bit disappointed: 

This project was cool! We could really empower a lot of women. Why didn’t she get it?”

And then, the more logical voice in my head, answered back:

“Because she has her own life, dummy.” 

Let me get this straight, this post is by no means an opportunity to say that my sister let me down. 

My point is that she has her own damn life; she is a mama who happens to be raising the cutest, chubbiest, smartest little six-month-old. How could I expect her to attack MY dream with the same fervor and maniacal tenacity that I would? For the first time, it became very clear that I was actually the one copping out on myself. Go figure.

I was giving more priority to my clients’ dreams than my own. One of the reasons why I like to think my clients continue to work with me is that I’m dependable. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. So why didn’t I have that same determination for my own projects?  

Well, not anymore folks. I’ve been working really hard to reach that beautiful balance that makes me feel good about every single thing I give my time and attention to.

Here are the things that I need to prioritize, are they similar to yours?

  1. Traveling- I begin to get anxiety if I stay in the same place too long. While I love having a comfortable home environment, a tight-knit group of friends, and a familiar daily routine, I also crave adventure. This is why I always have a trip I've recently come back from, and one that I am planning...last stop, Budapest, next stop, Mallorca! 
  2. Music- The one thing that has always remained constant in my life, is my love of music. The excitement I feel when I stumble upon a song that rattles my bones, makes me feel like a kid on Christmas, seriously. Here is the latest song I'm obsessing over.
  3. Writing- I write a lot for my clients. Some projects allow a bit more creative freedom than others, but none of them are nearly as satisfying as sitting down and writing my own stories.

And here is the funny part, the more honest I become with myself, the more balanced I become in my life, the easier it is to be happy during the in-between moments. It’s kind of like the idea of putting your own life vest on before saving someone else. How could I feel truly, and deeply satisfied helping other people’s ideas and dreams come to fruition if I didn’t first prioritize my own? 

And then, like a gift from the hysterical universe, my accountant recently told me that I can start expensing my travel costs and concert tickets as long as I am writing about the experiences. SAY WHAT? So you mean I can 1. travel, 2. go to festivals/concerts and then 3. write about them? I am officially "living the dream".

Well played, universe. 

And just to wrap things up, my sis is still one badass bitch. Though she isn’t playing the role that I was projecting on to her, (haha, sounds even sillier when I type it out), she is still helping out the project in many other ways. Occasionally she sends me interesting articles for the ReproJustice social media channels and recently she even coordinated a guest contribution for the site.

When you feel like things aren’t going your way, please realize that it is most likely your own self-doubt holding you hostage. Once you get out of your own damn way, you’ll start to realize just how many opportunities are out there, waiting for your embrace. 

May your path be forever lined with a plethora of low-hanging fruit, ripe for the pickin'.