The other day I made a big move in my work life that was way outside of my comfort zone and it felt like a major leap that someone else would make, not a leap that little old me would make, but leap I did just the same. Post-leap I got hit hard with a big wave of "I am in big trouble feeling". It was weird, I wasn't sure exactly who I was in trouble with---but I knew for sure that the feeling was crappy and that I didn't like it and that i wanted it to stop post-haste. When I did a scan of who exactly might be upset with me I thought of my signifigant other and yet that made abzolutely zero sense. I tried to brush off the feeling of "big trouble", only I couldn't. And the rational part of my brain assured me that no one would be upset with me for succeeding. Having done that, I still felt crappy, but tried to shrug off the icky-sticky-yucky feeling that lingered. A bit later I shared the events of the day and the resulting feelings of ick to a good friend who has known me forever. I marveled, "why on earth would I feel like I am in trouble?", expecting the question to linger in the land of rhetorical and unanswerable questions. However, immediately, my wise friend texted back, "Remember ___________________",( name left out to protect the anonymity of the soon to mentioned ick-arouser), "well, he used to tell you 'Don't be a fancy pants, don't get too big for your britches!'" My friend continued, "So, even though he isn't here, you know he would not be okay with this kind of big leap in your life and so you are prepping for his reaction." She was totally right.
This long ago and far away family member was big on calling me a "fancy pants" if I was ever to do anything that made him feel like I was surpassing family norms, which obviously seemed threatening in some way. And even though I intellectually know it is good, okay, and fantastic to be growing, leaping and expanding, that message of "don't become too big for your britches", the old message still haunts me, only it doesn't haunt me so much that it is stopping me.
What I have decided to do is to literally find and buy a pair of fancy pants just to own it , "Why, yes, I am indeed a fancy pants and these are my fancy pants." Such fancy pants may not be made for literal leaping, but these leaps are made for gold lame, psyche restructuring, limit lambasting, personal growth, and not so much about lycra or Lululemon.