Straddling Sanity


One foot in. One foot out. And I’m not talking about the Hokey Pokey here.

Many times in my life I have ventured into something new. My mind is moving in the new direction, but something is dragging me backwards. I work hard to hang onto the security of the old at the same time. It mitigates risk. It gives me a safety net. It holds me hostage.

I am straddling the line for security’s sake. The line between the old and the new. Between the familiar and the frightening. Between the known and the unknown.

Turns out that straddling that line messes with the new plan, the old memories, and my sanity!

Reflecting on the times in my life when change has felt the most stressful and uncertain, I am realizing that those were the times that I was actively living in both the past and the future. Straddling that line so carefully that I could not fully commit to either side. That sheer commitment phobia keeping me from taking the leap to the other side, also keeps me frazzled and stuck.

I can think of times that change has been wonderfully fulfilling too. Not stressful. Not insanity infused. And those were the times that my eyes were on the prize and I confidently moved forward with both feet. Jumped right on over that imaginary line and wholeheartedly pursued the possibilities ahead of me.

What a difference it makes to pick up that lingering leg and bring it over the line. It frees your mind and your heart to welcome the new and to release the old.

Think of the times in your life that you were dreaming of the possibilities but not moving toward them. Maybe you were just testing the waters by tapping your toe gently over the line. Perhaps you were holding tightly to what you knew even if that wasn’t what you wanted. Ponder those straddling-sanity-situations for a moment.

What was keeping your other foot firmly planted in the past?

Fear? Trepidation?

What was holding you back from fully pursuing your new adventure?

Insecurity? Uncertainty?

When we make up our minds to pursue the new – whether that is a new job, a new relationship, or a new attitude – we need to take steps to embrace that change. Forward progress. One foot over the line isn’t enough.

Don’t get stuck in an eternal game of Twister… right foot on red, left foot on blue. Choose! And even the absence of a choice is still a choice. Make a decision.

Do you want the new enough to commit to it with both feet?

If you choose not to fully commit, prepare for your mind and your heart to be uneasy.

We can’t do both with enough effort to make it worthwhile. We cannot be fully present in two places at the same time. That desire to have both, to do both, to be both, just takes away from the beautiful potential of the positive change we are seeking.

When that next new opportunity arises, consider the steps you will take to bring it to fruition. Think it through. Make a plan. Then make a choice to embrace it and take action to achieve it.

Both feet in, or both feet out. That’s what it’s all about.


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3 thoughts on “Straddling Sanity

  1. shainamarie14 May 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm Reply

    WISHY WASHY! Haha. That’s what I think of after reading this post. There are so many people out there that can say they have felt this way at one time or another I know I have!! Sometimes making a choice is the hardest thing to do!! Or seems that way at the moment. As I’ve gotten older though I feel like I am stronger with my convictions and when I make a choice although I am never perfect I stand behind it and believe in it and I find pride in that! However!!! I also have learned a valuable lesson in my life that sometimes when your choices aren’t so wonderful it takes a much bigger part of you to consider the other side as well šŸ™‚ PS…we should play twister at a fam game night soon haha that would be hilarious šŸ˜‰

    • trisbendickson May 14, 2014 at 2:36 pm Reply

      Yes, wishy washy! And we think we outgrow that, but it creeps back in sometimes. I want to lose weight but I don’t eat right or exercise enough… One foot in and one foot out. I want to be a writer but I am hesitant to say it and do it for fear of rejection… One in and one out. And sometimes it is simply that I want happiness but the old cruddy stuff lingers and makes me feel undeserving. Learning to move that back foot forward! And you are too šŸ™‚ Twister date soon?

      • shainamarie14 May 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        Yes!! Back foot forward is a great analogy for it! I too am definitely on that same path! We aren’t perfect and we never will be BUT we can learn from things and do it better next time around! And just keep trying!!! That’s all that matters really šŸ™‚ not giving up!! Twister date for sure!!!!! Bret is auto disqualified due to size and unfair limb length… šŸ˜‰

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