One of the good things about about being a grown up is that you get to choose when you act/think like a kid. The problem is that many of us never choose that path, even for a few minutes. Once we’re grown up, we think it’s wrong to be silly or color outside the lines. This is a shame.
The older we get the more invested we are in ‘the same'; what Seth Godin calls lizard brain. Our prehistoric need to stay in the cave, “to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise.”
The idea is to live our lives according to what we (and our loved ones) need at the time. This doesn’t mean I have to work at this job or this career forever. Just right now.
People forget this. They also forget that they can change their minds. I am not recommending arbitrarily job hopping. But trying several different paths to build skills and ‘try things on’ is a legitimate path – AT ANY AGE.
The problem is the judgement of other people, specifically our fear of it. When I requested and got approval (in 1984) to manage my team while working part time, many of my colleagues were upset. Here’s what they said; “why does she get to?” “she can’t be serious about your career” and my favorite “I wish I could do that.” Blah, blah, blah. I showed them how to do it, they were too afraid. That’s cool. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine.
But if you think you can go your own way and not face judgement from others, stop. it. right. now. Accept the fact that for whatever human reason, the pack doesn’t like lone wolves. If you choose a path that isn’t like everyone else’s, people are going to be upset and many will let you know.
Insofar as you can (and still pay your bills) stop thinking/worrying about what everyone else wants/thinks. You will NEVER please everyone so you might as well please yourself. For me, this was a tough lesson, but once I learned it… I was free forever.
It’s hell in the hallway but the difficulty doesn’t last forever. But when you’re in the hallway… it sure feels like it will.
Want a laugh? check out my daughter Jenna’s take on ‘grownuphood” (alert: fbombs & other foul language included)
Photo credit: Why Do We Work?