The Only Thing Holding Myself Back | Ikigai Charts For Dummies

Still on that "let's find me a dream job" track.

One time, I made an Ikigai chart. It was basically a Venn diagram that's supposed to guide you on the path to something that has you amped to get out of bed in the morning. Translation:  ya dream job.

It's up on the whiteboard in an office I share with two other women; one who is my age and ironically on the same train as I am (Dani), the other a maternal figure that lives for the petty crap we do on a daily basis (Deb). We had gone through pretty much the entire day when Deb took notice of the board, focusing on the "What you get paid for" sector, where Journalist/Novelist/Self-Help Author happened to be.

She laughed at me, like my friends did when I told them I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. As much as they still joke about it today, it remains a possibility because hey, it's a form a writing.

On Ikigai day and many other days, I'm reminded of my dream job and how little I do to try and achieve it. I didn't grow up wanting a career that has a direct path (re:  firefighters, cops, or doctors who require a specific amount of training and then off they go to succeed in their roles). I grew up with a goal so many other people want to achieve with so many methods of achieving it - I just want to be respected for my ability to tell a story.

I'm surrounded by opportunity on a daily basis, but it can be hard to find the energy or devotion to reach out and take advantage - this sucks, and I know I'm really the only thing that's holding myself back. Admitting the problem is the first step, right?

I watched Set It Up recently (a Netflix original - if you've been craving a feel-good traditional Rom-Com, get after it) and all the main character wanted to do was be respected for her writing. The only problem was she wasn't writing. She went through the surges of doubt any writer has, like "Am I good enough?" or "Will anyone care what I have to say?"

It wasn't until a friend clarified that the first draft was OBVIOUSLY going to suck and there was CLEARLY going to be some sort of growing pains did the main character do something. That really hit home for me, especially the part about not getting any better until you see where you're starting from. I've started and stopped writing so many times in the past, it's probably time I sit myself down in a Mexican restaurant, order all of the free chips and water I can handle, and start making moves.

In reality, do I expect these ramblings to be cited by a writer for the Huffington Post? No, but they can certainly help me hone my craft and serve as a personal benchmark.