I'm Trapped in Myself. How Do I Get Out of Here?

By Thursday, August 29, 2013 6 Permalink 0

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

I’ve been in a deep period of reflection lately. It happens a few times throughout the year. Perhaps with the change of seasons. It’s one of the most unhealthily healthy things I do.

I introspect on where I am in life and my level of happiness. I think about the good, but spend a lot of time, maybe even too much time, thinking about how and where I could be better. I dream a lot. I aspire a lot. I come up with grandiose plans and schemes, then beat myself up later when they don’t come to fruition as hoped. Classic Introvert Pisces, 7 and 11 behavior. Oh, I should also mention that I’ve gotten more into astrology and numerology. I’ve spent what feels like hours reading about myself. My personality. What obstacles will plague me the most. Where I will find the most success. All the good stuff. And though a lot of people say the astrology and numerology stuff is hogwash, it’s been on point in describing me. Creepily on point.

The shitty part is that my numbers and my sign are wrought with personal obstacles and challenges. I will struggle to find balance and will feel trapped at times. I’ll look for ways to escape reality (often destructively if not careful), even if it means withdrawing from people and getting lost in a dream world. I’ll often be misunderstood and people will make inaccurate assumptions despite the handsomeness of my heart. Yeah, this stuff is accurate. Because I’ve been known to do that plenty when life gets tough, and to feel exactly this way.

So I’ve been reading and reading, growing increasingly discouraged with the odds that I sometimes feel are stacked against me. I’ve gotten annoyed with the inherent personality traits that I haven’t been able to shake, even though I know they can prevent me from achieving my greatness.

I had been feeling much of this before I started reading about myself. Hence the period of reflection. But all this has made it clear and provided some faux level of comfort. I realized that at times I hate my numbers and my sign, which means at times I don’t like myself. I wish I was born in a different month or dealt a different stack of cards. Maybe things would be easier. Maybe I’d be thriving like him, or her, or them (damn the comparisons!). If only I was different, life would be so much easier. I know these aren’t productive thoughts, but I’m prone to them.

(Hilarious that I can coach people on this shit, but I struggle to heed my own advice.)

One of the great things about being a Pisces, 7, and 11 is that I have a heightened sense of self-awareness and an inherent desire to be better. That’s why I can’t admit my faults and flaws. That’s why I read so much personal development stuff. There are so many areas I know that I can improve. That’s also what makes it overwhelming, and why at times I feel trapped and not quite good enough despite whatever praise comes my way. Call it insecurity, esteem issues, whatever. It’s real.

I’m slowly learning though. I’m learning that my happiness isn’t in becoming the perfect person. It’s in accepting everything about who I am today. It’s in amplifying my strengths and acknowledging and mitigating my weaknesses. There are some things I will never be great at, but I can become good. There are obstacles I’ll face no matter what, but it’s how I choose to respond to them given what I know about myself. And to think I’ve felt powerless at times when I have all the power in the world. It’s crazy. But not really. Because we all do.

So one of my new goals is to focus on my strengths. How can I take what I do well to propel me to the dreams that occupy so much of my mental space? How can I turn an hour long negative conversation with myself into positive energy that helps me accomplish what I think I’m here to do? How do I get to the point that I take my own advice?

Those are the questions I’m asking. I’m working through the answers. Ive already been told it won’t be easy. But in the interim, I guess there’s nothing wrong with preaching to myself.

More to come.


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  • Dawn Maria Snodgrass

    Hello Rich Jones from NYC! Just read this piece again. Sorry, this is where I should have posted my previous comments. Yes, I do have a job, but my very cool boss allows his team 3 hours per week for personal development, so I read inspiring blogs! I am inspired by this particular piece because it takes a lot of courage to let the world see inside your soul as you have done in this one….beautiful. When you write this type of honesty you give the rest of us courage and permission to also show the world who we truly are. My hope is that you will continue with your blogs, as you are inspiring folks who have never even met you! –Dawn Marie, Sacramento, CA.

  • Rosiland

    Hey Rich! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Funny thing – as I was reading the first part of the second paragraph, I thought to myself … “that’s me!” Then I read that you are a pisces and I thought … “so am I!” LOL!

    Thanks for giving me the words to describe myself and for letting me know that I am not the only one who goes throught this “process!”

    • Rich


  • Li

    The fact that we are thinking about these things and trying to understand ourselves better is something to be thankful for, period.
    “I will struggle to find balance and will feel trapped at times.”
    This line and most of your post resonated with me, and I know so many share the same feelings of uncertainty about where we are on our journeys. I read or heared someone (can’t remember whom) say a few years ago that balance is not achieving equilibrium or a constant state of stability/peacefulness in life. True balance is learning how to move with the swinging pendulum of life and stay present/aware, remembering that there is a season for all things (for work and rest, success and failure, joy and pain, to dream and to execute, etc). When I am feeling anxious I remember this and the anxiety melts away. My schedule is a bit insane this month- so what! It won’t be this way next month because I am intentional about making space for down time when things have been crazy. This allows me to be present (and grateful) in the busyness of life as well as the slower times. Also, the “inward and outward” movement is extremely important for an introvert (and extroverts :-D). We need to get lost/withdraw sometimes and know that it is perfectly normal to do so. We need to go “in” and gather ourselves to restore our creative energy. When we go back “out” into the world we are re-fueled and on fire!

    • Rich

      Wow. Lovvvvvveeeeeeeee this comment! That piece about balance is dope. Really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts! I was just talking to someone today about the themes of my life: balance, faith, and acceptance.

  • Ashley

    Hey Rich,
    I remember talking to you about numerology when I finally met you last week. I still don’t feel a connection to my life number 8, but we shall see. I am a Capricorn and have the same urge to plan my life, constantly improve aspects of myself, etc. But while Pisces are out to sea Caps are firmly on earth. Sometimes we get too stuck in reality, too worried about the world we see around us and the ways we can fix it. Im trying to lean to dream a bit more and let my mind run free. Many times, if I don’t see an immediate solution to something I doubt it is there. I like what the last poster said about introverts and regrouping. I can’t ‘turn up’ every weekend. Sometimes I need to not leave the house lol. Great post!