Friday, May 15, 2009

If you're not scared, you're not paying attention

Is that even true? It's something I'm thinking about lately.

The last semester -particularly the last month- has been difficult. It's not Math-Fink's doing this time. No, this time, it was all me. This semester was pretty close to grace-less. I stumbled and bumbled and dropped balls I was trying to juggle, and generally made a mess.

Yes, I can come up with rational explanations as to WHY that happened. Yes, I know I can get better at all the things I screwed up. Yes, I know I'm being impatient with myself and expecting quite a lot.

The thing is.... other people expect quite a lot of me, too. And they have no reason or inclination to cut me any slack. In fact, for them to do so would be inappropriate. Employers, children, people whose job it is to enforce standards.... those people. They have very right to expect me to step up and get it done. Whatever "it" is, in their particular case.

So, I face again -anew- more things that scare me. Resentment builds up that I have to do this alone. And then I think, no... I GET to do this alone. What do I want? How will I organize this? And I cycle back and forth -like a person with a particularly rapid-cycling bipolar disorder- between panic and courage. So, is everybody afraid, and some people just figure out a path through the fear? Maybe some people are too naive or too young to be afraid. Maybe it's only smart adults who are afraid. Great.

Or maybe those people who seem to be serene AND high-achieving really are both. How do they do that? I have learned that I can't muscle my way through this. Rock climbing should have told me that. Muscle power never gets me anywhere; I have to rely on flexibility and coordination.

So, I tried will power, and I didn't have enough. I tried brute force, and I guess I'm insufficiently brutish because that didn't work either. But I have a life to get organized here. What is going to work? Is there a way to lead with MY strengths -flexibility and coordination and maybe a smidge of creativity? Would that work? Would that keep the fear at bay?

Or is fear just part of the human condition?


Lisa :-] said...

I think nothing would ever get done without some degree of fear. Fear is something to consider and overcome...and those who do succeed on some level. And maybe it's not even the level they think they want to succeed on.

Rather than keeping the fear at bay, it might be better to embrace it...

Anonymous said...

Face the fear and it will disappear....