I’m having a Mary Tyler Moore moment

For those of you who didn’t watch the Mary Tyler Moore  show or even catch the re-runs on TVLand, you probably won’t understand what I’m going through right now. You wouldn’t understand if I stood next to you and said in a high pitched shaky voice, “But Mr Graaannntttt ….” Seriously, you wouldn’t understand.

For those of you who DO know what I’m talking about, well then enjoy this Mary Tyler Moore moment with me ….

Lately I’ve found myself in a self-imposed ‘freak-out’ mode. Next month has been dubbed the Month of the Workshops as I have 5 workshops scheduled for me to teach in August. Teaching a workshop means more then just showing up – there’s research, creating the slides for my presentation and for a couple of the sessions, I have to write up some workbooks for the attendees to take home.

While I truly am enjoying this new part of my work, the pressure to get everything done is taking its toll on what’s left of my sanity. I have an awful lot of work I need to do so I can show up with my winning personality to teach people stuff they paid me to learn more about. I spent a large part of last week working on this and have blocked off time for more work this week.

As I’m working, I keep checking the registrations and so far, it’s not much. Then the freak out begins … what if I do all this work and no one or just one person shows up? What if I start working on another workshop because I think no one will show and then two days before, I get a bunch of registrations and have to do everything in one day? What if I don’t really know what I’m talking about and these people all think I’m fake? What if I look like an idiot? What if this and what if that???

My old nemesis FEAR has decided to show up again to mess with my head. I still have other clients to do work for, then there’s my 12-week online course I’m still writing, plus taking care of my son and cleaning the house (ok you got me there …. maybe the house isn’t as clean as it could be). I mean, I’ve got nothing else to do so come on, bring it on FEAR. Let’s see how much more I can take before I seriously crack.

A few of my regular readers (I’m not pointing fingers but y’all know who you are!) are always telling me I push myself too hard. Give myself a break, let up on the pressure. Let me share with you a story which might enlighten you a bit as to why I act the way I do:

I have a business coach named Becky and at the end of last year, we had a meeting which struck me to the core. It literally changed my way of looking at what I want to be when I grow up. She bluntly asked me, ‘how old are you?’ I mumbled something about how I was going to be turning (gulp) 45 this year and her reply back to me was this, ‘I’m not trying to be mean about this but look, you’re not in your 20’s with a lot of time to work on everything you want to accomplish. You only have a short time to get this stuff done and get yourself out there. Put yourself on a strict diet of writing, teaching workshops and developing this social media program idea of yours. Do what you need to do —  just get it done.’

I remember not really having an answer to her words. All I could do was just nod and thank her for her honesty. Then I set to work to put my plan in action. I started the year with doing one workshop a month which I was co-teaching with one of my social media buddies. Six months later, I’m teaching five workshops all by myself, my online course is more then 2/3 written and we’ve started work on a new website to be launched with the program.

This past weekend sent me deep into freak-out mode so I took my dog Winston for a long walk. I have no idea where this came from but that image of Mary Tyler Moore popped into my head. You know the one where she throws her hat into the air? What if you’re having this Mary Tyler Moore moment and just like Mary, things will have a way of working themselves out? Mary had to work hard for what she achieved in that newsroom. She found a way to get it done.

Then I realized I was giving in to my fears and letting them take over. I realized we truly have no control over what those around us think about us or whether they’ll show up or not. I began to realize when we take our focus off of others and onto what we can control, we can make things happen. When we put that focus on ourselves, we can all make our dreams come true. That’s right folks …you can get stuff done.

Even though Mary Tyler Moore was a bit of a whiner like me, she put her hours in and did what she needed to do to get the job done. Damn if I had a hat right now, I’d throw it in the air.

Photo credit: Mary Tyler Moore

9 thoughts on “I’m having a Mary Tyler Moore moment

  1. Okay, Penney, catch your hat and set down somewhere!
    Once I got past that “winning personality” thing, I read every word you wrote, as I always do. You and I usually see things in the same light, so I’m wondering… why didn’t you give Becky a black eye?

    How does Becky know how much time you have to work on what you want to accomplish? Becky could be gone and burried next month…you could live to be 90! None of us knows how much time we have! That was a nasty thing to say, no matter her intentions.

    Think about this (because I am one of those people who thinks you put too much pressure on yourself – maybe I’m the only one.)
    Maybe, just maybe, the pressure is stifling your creativity. I don’t know that it is, but it’s always a possibility.

    Go gettem tiger!

    • What are you saying Judi? Not a fan of my winning personality? And you actually have the pleasure of spending time with me in person 🙂

      Yes Becky’s comment struck me pretty hard when I first heard it but then I let it soak in. She’s right because #1 – she’s been here and done all the things I want to accomplish (she’s speaking from personal experience and that’s why she’s my coach!) and #2 – you only know about a small slice of what I’m planning on doing. You’ve only heard about the tip of the iceberg. It’s a pretty ambitious plan I’ve worked out – and now I’m working to get it done.

      I actually think its just the opposite about my creativity. I’ve never felt so creative and so energized then I am right now. I think its my old habits/fears coming back at me while I keep making changes in my life. And thank you for caring so much and for all your kind and encouraging words.

      LAST thing – I’d like to see myself retire around 60 – 65 so really that only gives me a good 20 years of living in my dream until I’ve made enough money to live in my dream home. Then I’ll turn into one of those people like Lloyd and I get to say what I want, do what I want and write when I want.

      • LOL I love your winning personality! I think you can accomplish anything you set out to, and as long as you’re happy – I’m happy too. Hope to see you on the 4th. 🙂

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