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Getting Started: A way out of your self-imposed jail cell

The secret to getting ahead, is getting started – Mark Twain

I’m beginning to see that the jail cell I feel I am in, is one really of my own making. Can you relate to a lack of drive, a feeling of “there’s got to be more”, but never finding a way to the MORE? Are complaints about self-image and other self-defeating thoughts driving you to experience depression/anxiety, pushing you further behind bars where you throw away the key?

Don’t get me wrong. I successfully run a trade association, leading others to professional success, but I’ve lost “that lovin’ feeling”.

I work ALL OF THE TIME. Just last month, I was only home ten days and wasn’t able to go to church a single Sunday! I was on airplanes, eating airport food, rushing from one group to another. I missed the opportunity to connect with my neighbors as they were gardening on the weekends and build new friendships in our new church and community. I even missed some real opportunities with those in front of me because I’m just plain tired.

So what is my self-imposed jail cell, my dirty little secret? It’s that once the work day is done, I am a full-blown couch potato, sitting all evening wondering why I can’t get off of the hamster wheel.  The hamster wheel of negative ideas and feelings that turn into couch potato snacking, that turns into beating myself up for not taking better care of myself, that turns into “I gotta do better, but I don’t know how”, that turns into sitting and snacking more.

Today, I decided to step out, take charge and in the process, I discovered A Way OUT of that self-imposed jail cell.

It’s the simplest idea. You may even say, “No, duh”.

It began with a pair of shoes and ear buds.

My goal today was to get myself up off the couch and out into the community.  I pulled on my tennis shoes and grabbed my ear buds, then headed down a city trail to a wonderful discovery.

The truth is, I don’t really like to exercise. Everyone else seems to LOVE IT! But me? If I’m to be successful in my exercise time, I have to have a purpose beyond “the burn”.

Today, I found the purpose. You see, I’ve been meaning to listen, for weeks, months, to the 48 Days podcast by Dan Miller, but just haven’t gotten around to it, well…because of the unmotivated jail I put myself in.

Today, I stuck my ear buds in and made the commitment that no matter how long the 48 Days podcast was, I would walk until it was over. I was so engaged in Dan’s discussion about not killing the golden goose (your current job), before creating a transition plan to the dream job, that this couch potato didn’t realize I had walked forty minutes!

This whole, simple experience created in me a desire to Get Out of Jail! My jail.

My creative juices began to flow. I listened as Dan talked about collaborating with others, not being afraid to share your ideas, even with potential competitors. I heard about a live event for someone who has an idea, but they need to jump start that idea.

So today, I am looking forward, creating a plan. To start, I will walk with Dan at least three days a week for the next 48 days. Dan and others in the 48day.net community encourage blogging. I’m not a blogger because I’m not certain I actually have something to contribute that hasn’t already been said, but today, here I am blogging. I encourage you to respond, share your thoughts with me.  

I’m breaking out of JAIL and hope you will come with me for the next 48 days!

Don’t put your dreams on hold, put your excuses on hold – Summer Brackhan

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Comment by Micki Vandeloo on May 4, 2016 at 9:39am

Love your story, you should be very proud of yourself that the recognition that your "jail" was one of your own making (so many don't), and taking responsibility for making the changes needed.  You are in the right community, we all understand!  Best wishes on your "jail breakout"!

Comment by Mike Bryan on May 4, 2016 at 6:50am

Kristen, I thought the same thing about being a writer but I just started 8 months ago and now, with God's help, I will publish in June. Keep pushing through the hard times and when in doubt reach out for help. Well Done! 

Comment by Mike Cournia on May 3, 2016 at 9:14am

Good job, Kristen! Great journeys often includes a couple of "buds". Keep it up.

Comment by Beth Underwood on May 3, 2016 at 8:25am

Putting ourselves out there can be tough sometimes, but you did it! Congrats on that - and on breaking out of your self-imposed jail cell!

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