...isn't easy! But here are some ideas for how to do it.
First: I want to welcome new subscribers. I see that most of you came here from my new column at Psychology Today, “Living Neurodivergence” (livingneurodivergence.com).
For my old friends, I’d love it if you checked out the new column and let me know what you think. I’m thrilled to be writing for a larger audience about mental health and neurodiversity.
So here’s the deal: applying for that position at PT was a big leap for me. I agonized over it, because it requires writing something new every month, which felt like a lot. The pay is lower than I’m used to. And I wasn’t sure I had the right experience to write for a psychology magazine. (Hello imposter syndrome!)
[Photo description: Me on my horse George, leaping over a fence away from the camera. George is a pretty red bay mare with two white rear socks.]
But fortunately I have two friends who are also amazing writing coaches—seriously, could I be more lucky? And both helped me make the decision to take the leap. (Thank you Camille Pagán and Lisa Cooper Ellison! You should look them up, and you can thank me later.)
After I applied to PT, I started taking all kinds of leaps.
I signed up for an online writing course to refresh some skills (with the aforementioned Lisa).
I set up a meeting with my literary agent to pitch some new ideas—and we had a great talk! I was so nervous when I made the appointment, but it went better than I could have imagined.
I did all of this over the course of two weeks.
But what people rarely talk about when they share this kind of news is this: leaping forward is hard, and it is scary.
Here’s what I learned about how to make it less hard:
🌟 First, create space. Quit things. You can’t fly with weights on your legs. Quitting is so stinking hard that I wrote about how to do it in one of my recent letters. My ability to take leaps now stems directly from the space I opened in my life by quitting the things that bogged me down.
🌟 Don’t do it alone! I keep mentioning Lisa and Camille because they held my hand while I agonized over these decisions.
🌟 Stay on target. Every leap you take—every item you commit to—should help you achieve something greater. Don’t say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. Make a list of all the ways the leap will take you in the direction you want to go. Otherwise, you’ll end up overextended (again).
🌟 You will be scared. That’s okay. Talk to your friends so they can reassure you. Then take a deep breath, and leap.