I just got back late Sunday night from a week-long trip. I was in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, for professional development, getting advanced training in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®.
(Confession: if I could get paid to do professional development all the time, that would be my dream job. But I digress.)
Right after I arrived in Whistler, I posted the following in the Creative Sandbox Community:
I love trips, and I love professional development (I’m here for more LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® advanced training), but I HATE the anxiety that comes along with the preparation!
Did I forget to do something?
Did I forget to pack something?
And then, of course, there’s the way trips pluck me out of my groove, and derail me from whatever track I’d been on.
After being so sick in January, and then down with Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, it’s been so wonderful to finally have my energy and focus back…
And now I’m on a trip for 8 days!
And I know that means more days of trying to get back on track when I get home…
(Then there’s the small detail that I naively thought I’d have a paid gig or two by now to *fund* this trip! Oops… Lesson: no matter how enthusiastic you are, think very carefully before spending money you have not yet earned!)
But life is like this, isn’t it?
Opportunities don’t always come at convenient times.
Opportunities don’t always wait patiently until *you* are ready, and your schedule is clear, and your groove has grown cold.
Last night at dinner, I told my husband that I kind of wished I hadn’t booked this trip. “Why?” He asked.
Partly because of the expense, of course, but honestly, when I use my Golden Formula and apply self-awareness, I have to acknowledge that I ALWAYS feel this way before any trip.
It’s pre-trip anxiety.
I’m kind of a homebody.
I hate leaving my Sweetie, my kitty, my cozy home and routine.
EVEN THOUGH I LOVE TRIPS!
It’s just getting over that hurdle, getting packed, getting out the door, getting STARTED that creates the anxiety.
(Remind you of anything? This smacks a lot of fear of the unknown, doesn’t it?)
I KNOW (from experience) that once I get there, I almost always have a great time.
I KNOW (from experience) that I am almost always really glad I came.
I KNOW (from experience) that I am likely to feel as energized and jazzed from this trip as I was at home.
So stop resenting being plucked from your routine and go with it, Melissa! Let it be great! 😊
And then here’s what I posted after I got back:
I got back late last night from a week in Whistler, B.C., Canada, at two amazing advanced trainings in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods:
First, three days of LSP + Conflict Management. Then two days of LSP + Graphic Recording!
I booked this trip months ago, thinking my consultancy would have earned the funds to pay for it by now, but that goal turned out to be a bit more optimistic than realistic. So for the past few weeks I’ve been mentally kicking myself, wondering if I made a terrible mistake in signing up for another (expensive!) training so soon.
Then there’s the trip anxiety, which I wrote about in the Sandbox (and which sparked some rich discussion!)
The truth is, I’m a bit of a homebody, and I always feel this way, before every trip.
The night before I left, I told my husband that part of me did not want to go.
That part of me was wishing I’d never booked the trip in the first place.
That part of me — which feels about four years old — felt whiny and complainy, and just wanted to stay home with my sweetie, and keep grooving away in the groove I’d finally gotten into after emerging from The Brutal Flu & Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome that knocked me flat for so long in January & February.
Thankfully, I was very much aware that those feelings were just feelings, not reality.
I also knew that once I arrived in Whistler I would probably have a wonderful time and be very glad I had booked the trip after all.
Because yes, this is a very old story. It’s one that has repeated itself over and over in my life, so I recognize it for what it was: a story.
Just a story. Just feelings. Not reality.
I was able to acknowledge that part of me didn’t want to go. And I was able to acknowledge that it was highly likely I would be very glad I went by the time I got to the other end of the trip.
Indeed, that’s exactly what happened!
- I learned a ton (which makes me ecstatically happy).
- I made amazing connections and planted (and tended) the seeds for multiple collaborations (ditto!).
- I played (ditto!)
In fact, not only did I have a fabulous time, but when it was time to head home, I didn’t want to leave!
So now I have another data point for the next time I have to pack a suitcase and my inner whiny four-year-old starts to complain that she doesn’t want to go on a trip!
It was a great example of how consulting with my Past Self (and my Slightly Future Self) helped me calm down my Present Self.
Do you have something that’s causing you anxiety or fear right now? Is there a story from your past that you can draw on to help ease your fear?
See if you can pull up a situation from your memory bank that was in some way similar to what you’re dealing with now, where things turned out okay. It can have a very calming effect.
It is SO worth it.
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