The Right Fit

Liz Sumner Choice, Decision-making, Self Worth Leave a Comment

I’m squeeing with delight because I recognized that something wasn’t the right fit for me. I was offered an opportunity that appeared to be ideal. It had attractive elements that dazzled me at first, but as I learned more it became clearer and clearer that it wasn’t a good fit, so I turned it down.

An old me might have stuck with it, thinking I could make it work– that my objections were frivolous or I was just being a chicken. If I just buckled down and got over myself it would all turn out okay. Maybe I could have found things to like about it, but at what cost?

The way my true feelings revealed themselves was like a whack on the side of the head saying, “This is no fun! I’m not enjoying myself.” After that initial realization, specifics came into focus like a photo in a developer bath. It took several days before I could articulate what about it was causing me discomfort. There was nothing inherently wrong with the opportunity, it was just misaligned with my work and what I’m here to do.

I know that some people think that work should be hard, but I don’t think it should make you miserable. I’m fortunate enough to have work that engages and fulfills me. The shorthand version of my philosophy is: Do what you love. Love what you do. Stop Doing What You Hate. That last piece is essential. It’s our responsibility to remove ourselves from situations which drag us down and suck our energy.

In some cases it may be hard to just remove yourself, particularly when loved ones are involved. I’m thinking of some friends who care for family members with special needs. Opting out is not an acceptable option. But neither is suffering through something that drains you. We must value ourselves enough to believe we deserve support, to ask for it and accept it.

Is there something in your orbit that you have mixed feelings about? You see reasons you should like it but part of you has misgivings and you’re having trouble navigating your way through. Try this:

  • Acknowledge and allow the negative emotion. 
  • Give yourself permission to feel into what’s arising with curiosity. 
  • As you feel the feeling(s) see if you can name them and identify what they’re associated with. Notice where in your body you experience it. 
  • Try to hold the dual stance of observer and feeler. 
  • You might also journal about what’s coming up for you.

You may uncover a clear decision that will lead you to the energy burst that I’m experiencing. You might also have a complex set of “yes, buts” that you need help unraveling. Another possibility is that you stay in a foggy numbness that doesn’t present any helpful way forward. That’s one of my favorite defense mechanisms. If you’d like to talk through any of these results I invite you to reach out.

At times in my life, whether through laziness, or fear, or lack of self worth, I’ve made do with an imperfect fit. I’m making better choices now. I’d love to help you do the same.

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