Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Something I Fear...
Good morning, good afternoon or good evening depending on where you are at this moment in time. I was pondering different thoughts on what I could write about today. I had several ideas that promised to be quite interesting but when I sat down to write, something different decided to be written. I guess I will save my other discussions for a different rainy day (it's raining here). Today, I am going to share with you one of my biggest secrets and darkest fears. I say this with the utmost of seriousness. What I am about to share is deeply personal and has had a negative affect on my life and personal happiness many times. One of the things that frightens me most is success.
Please don't laugh. Please don't think it selfish or childish or so Western of me. It is honest to goodness truth. I'm afraid of achieving my goals even though I am, under most circumstances, more than capable (in some cases beyond what others around me are capable of) of obtaining my goals; occasionally with little to no effort on my part but I'm afraid each time I do. I have, or at least I think I have, some of the strongest self-confidence of most people I know; I am aware of my limitations, my flaws but also my abilities and strengths. I know myself; at least the left brain me.
I am not afraid of judgement nor of failure. I have had both happen to me more times than I can count. I reserved to myself long ago to never let the judgement of other people affect who I am. I am always grateful for constructive criticism, debate and discussion and those may change me but only through conscious volition. What I mean by judgement is personal attacks, verbal assaults, empty accusations and uninformed opinion. People who critic others because they lack their own happiness. No, those types of judgement do not bother me. Nor failure as you may have guessed given my confession. When you purposely or inadvertently cause yourself to fall short of your goals you tend to encounter failure often.
I've thought often and lengthy about this. I have missed out on some potentially amazing opportunities in life as a result of this fear. My current running theory is that it comes as a result of "bullying" due to my academic successes in school; from Elementary until High School. I remember arriving to a point where I hid my marks from the class and purposely failed or did poorly on tests to deal with it. I was afraid to get good marks because at the time, I was lonely and wanted to fit in more than anything. I guess even writing it out now...well, it's kind of sad. I'm sad. Wow. I know it's not really possible to convey unless this was a video but there has been some significant pauses in the writing of this paragraph...
I haven't shared a lot about it before because I've always felt guilty about having a fear of success. I mean, there is so much fear in the world and much of it, for many people, is all too real a threat to their actual lives. Yet here I was, in the land of milk and honey afraid of reaching out to the shelf to get some for myself. I'm still afraid to touch it but now it's for a different reason: I'm not sure I
want it can handle it. I want to know that I am capable of maintaining my integrity; my honesty. I say that I am and I am. So maybe it isn't success I fear, maybe I'm afraid of myself.
When I say success, I don't mean financially or in terms of social status; though they are possibilities that come with success. I am strictly speaking about reaching out and achieving goals, no matter how big or small, successfully. I'm not sure why I'm really all that afraid. I know myself. I am confident in myself. Therefore I am confident that I know myself and that I am capable of achieving success, of any nature and yet even sound in this knowledge, as I acknowledge it in my head, the fear remains. Sometimes when my mind strays I think of the myriad of possibilities that have long since passed, the ones that sit before me and the ones I am sure to encounter in the future and I wonder...I wonder just how much potential I have and how far it could take me...and then I snuff out the fire in the blink of an eye.
But I'm not hopelessly enslaved to the fear. Of the things I mentioned I am, I am also a resilient and strong individual (when the occasion calls for it I am also humble and sentimental). I am reborn through defeat; given new life through failure; draw the essence of my true self from knowing that others think a thing impossible for me to do; the more the doubt, the greater my strength. This is another possibility to my fear. I am not exaggerating the true nature of the inspiration and passion I receive in the manner mentioned and perhaps part of my fear is that I will not find that same thing once I have achieved the impossible...or highly unlikely. I'm afraid to lose my passion; my purpose; my essence of love of life.
So it's out there now. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are now privy to a fear that has haunted me since childhood. A painful reminder of every lost chance and every missed opportunity each time I pass up another. I loathe (really do) myself in those moments, however briefly they may last (and they are brief) and I am disgusted with my wasted talent and it is that anger in those moments that I am building my new foundation of attack. I am holding on to that hate towards my weakness and waiting. Waiting until it has built up so strongly and fiercely that it stabs in my mind like a splinter; that it becomes so intense a distraction that I can think of nothing else. I will let it manifest and then I will do as I always do when confronted with any seemingly insurmountable objective: I will be reborn with the greatest strength I have ever known and I will overcome one of my personal life's biggest challenges: fear.