I recently met the
Anne Sage at a conference
where we were both speakers.
This one. She is a force.
We spent an afternoon bopping around Portland (with THESE TWO
) and as soon as she left town I found myself looking forward to the next time I might see her again. At the event we were attending, Anne shared about how at 30, she finds herself starting over in a way she never anticipated. She is in the midst of stepping in the unknown by leaving the company
she founded and moving to LA to pursue a full-time freelance career. (You can check out her creative genius over at The City Sage
.) I’m so thankful for fast friends like Anne, who are brave enough to let us into the transition, even as it is still a bit messy and wide open.
(**The two paragraphs are gold. Don’t skip them!)
What led you to the decision to take a risk and pursue something you care about?
For my entire life, I have been avoiding making decisions. I’ve let other people and external situations make my choices for me. I’ve been going with the flow: reacting, not acting. Again and again, I’ve found myself feeling trapped by circumstance, struggling to make inherently flawed professional and personal situations work. And I was ultimately doomed to fail not because they didn’t have the potential to work, but because I had chosen them passively and therefore felt no accountability to make them work. I knew I needed to assess my life, identify the areas in which I was unsatisfied, and START MAKING CHOICES.
What was the hardest/scariest part about it?
The scariest thing about starting to make my own decisions has been the very thing I’ve spent so much of my life avoiding: the fear of making the wrong choice. In my head I can’t help but ask, ‘What if I move to LA and end up broke, living out of my car?’ But I’ve reached a point where the pain of inaction has exceeded the fear of failure, and that little flame inside me that refuses to give up is speaking louder than the other (admittedly somewhat crazy) voice.
What would you say to other women you are on the verge of being bold, taking risk and choosing their own path?
Get help, both of the amateur and professional persuasion. I say this partly because we cannot do everything by ourselves. From the accountant helping me get the most out of my self-employment deductions to the friends I vent to when things get tough, being able to offload concerns takes the weight off my shoulders. At the same time, the very existence of this support network gives me the internal strength to do what only I can do for myself. As Jean Baker Miller and Irene Stiver, Relational-Cultural theorists from Wellesley College, state, ‘The most terrifying and destructive feeling that a person can experience is psychological isolation…a feeling that one is locked out of the possibility of human connection and powerless to change the situation. In the extreme, psychological isolation can lead to a sense of hopelessness and desperation.” Conversely, when we do feel authentically engaged with others, we are empowered, motivated, hopeful.
Embrace negative emotions. You’re going to feel afraid of risk and uncertainty, and you’re going to feel sad and angry when things don’t go exactly to plan. But expecting–and therefore accepting–these emotions is the first step in managing them. We all feel them when we’re taking on something that matters deeply to us; they’re signs that you are on the right path, not indicators that you should turn back.