The 80/20 Rule

I had a great session with my life coach, Jeff St. Laurent, yesterday morning.  Today is my deadline for paying in full for my top surgery and I was still feeling some resistance and nervousness about plopping down thousands of dollars for a life altering surgery, so I asked him to help me work through some of that hesitation and nervousness.  He reminded me of the 80/20 rule.  The way that works, to my understanding, is that we’re often 80% (or more) convinced that we want to do something but we focus on the 20% (or less) part of ourselves that has doubt and fear around the event (or object, like buying a house or a new car, etc.).  We get so focused on all of the negative things that can happen (the 20%) that we totally ignore and forget the reasons we want to do the thing or buy the thing (the 80%).  He was right!  I was focusing on stuff like regret, what others might think or say, how this effects my relationship, this being the final step in my transition (point of no return), dying on the table and having a major panic attack.  He asked me to write down the things that are making me nervous and think about what I can do about them if they actually did happen.  For example, one of my concerns is that I’ll regret having my breasts removed.  After some thought, I’m pretty sure I won’t regret this decision, but if I did, I could probably get implants or wear a prosthetic bra.  It’s not entirely irreversible.  I could stop T and take E and they’d probably start growing back on their own.  Will I do any of that?  I seriously doubt it.

Then he told me to focus on why I am doing this and list those reasons.  And, finally, list the things that I’m looking forward to after the surgery is over and I’m healed up.  Even just talking to him about the things I’m looking forward to made my mood lighter and I felt happier and our conversation moved onto other topics that I felt stronger about.  I’ll share here a few of the things I’m looking forward to after this is over.

  • Destroying my bras and giving away my binders.  I fantasize about actually burning my bras in a bonfire or getting a stick of dynamite and blowing them up.  Maybe I’ll buy a rocket kit and send them off with the rocket into the atmosphere in a blaze of glory.
  • Putting on a t shirt for the first time with out worrying about strapping my boobs down.
  • Swimming without boobs.
  • Not having the seat belt in my car ride up around my neck because of them…so annoying!
  • And most importantly, seeing my chest for the first time as it always should have been.  I tear up just thinking about that.

Just by focusing on the things I want and what I’m looking forward to I feel so much freer and at peace with my decision because I KNOW that this is the right thing for me to do.  I’m looking forward to it and want to celebrate being free of these unwelcome appendages that I’ve carried around for 40+ years.

A lot of us are wrestling with hard, seemingly life changing decisions.  I want to challenge you to write down your fears and think about if they are really as un-fixable or irreversible as you think if you do the thing you’re contemplating and you’re not happy with your decision.  I want to challenge you to focus on the reasons you want to do the thing and what you would be looking forward to if you went for it.  I found that writing out my concerns/fears and then going back and thinking about what I could do to reverse the action later on if I really did make a big mistake made me feel safer and freer to take the risk.  Almost nothing is irreversible if you really want to go back to how you once were.  If I wanted to, right this minute, I could begin the process of becoming the dyke lesbian I used to be.  I don’t want to go back there though and I seriously doubt I will ever regret having my top surgery.

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6 thoughts on “The 80/20 Rule

  1. Your coach gave you good advice! It is possible to be happy and sad about something at the same time (although I had no sadness about top surgery what-so-ever). Of all the things you can do to transition, I think top surgery is the least visible part of transition (except for our partners) – particularly if you bind or compress with a sports bra. And it has been very freeing for me. No one asked me directly about it, but people keep saying “you look great did you lose weight?”
    Exciting that your surgery is coming up. Do whatever you need to stay calm and keep the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jamie! I think top surgery is for me a lot like T is for you. He really is a great coach and we have a really good relationship built up. There’s nothing I can’t talk to him about. I’m still working out who to tell about the surgery and how much to tell them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s wishing for 100% happiness after the op. I vote for that rocket kit, by the way. It’s the 21st century; instead of burn the bra, launch it. All the best, buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post! Damn. I wish I’d found your blog sooner!

    Liked by 1 person

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