Friday, November 11, 2005

fear of failure

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I wrote this in my journal the other night. What brought it on is that I have received some emails from some very cool, interesting, intelligent people that say they love my site, my blog etc. That combined with some interest from agents in my book idea, and I just got overwhelmed with emotion - fear and joy and excitement all wrapped up together. Here is a slightly modified version of what I wrote:

Why is it that everybody believes in me but I am afraid to believe in myself? When I taste a small drop of the golden nectar of success, of moving toward my dream and what I hope is my destiny, fear is right there with me - filling my body with dread, filling my mind with doubts. I think of all the negative things of why I can't do this, why no one will think I am credible to say these things, people will make verbal attacks on me if I write about controversial issues like telling Christians to accept evolution as fact. I think I will get a burning cross in my yard and what I intend as a peacemaking book will end up generating hate aimed at me and my family. I think people will laugh me off of Oprah (if I would ever by chance to get there...)

Then inside my head I hear, you don't need an advanced degree to be wise. When I was 7, I was wiser than many of the adults around me... I do remember time and again hearing adults say things to me I could tell were bullshit. I remember over and over adults telling me that I could not do something, or something wouldn't work, and not believing them, I went and did it anyway. I remember specific events where I could see right through adult's facade, see that they were talking down to me, see that they were not really taking the time or attention to engage in a real dialogue or a real attempt at help. By the time I was sixteen, I wrote an essay for English class "On The Abuse of Authority."
The Gwen Stefani/black-eyed peas concert was really cool. In the old days people held up lighters. Today, they hold up cell phones. What a trip. I had never see was very cool. There was a very funny woman behind Gail and I - she kept saying I LOVE HER! And Gwen is SO cool! One time when it was somewhat quiet she said at the top of her lungs "Uh huh, this my shit, all the girls stomp your feet like this!" LOL. (If you don't know... that is from one of Gwens songs). It was just funny. I also think that when people get so into these stars and pop icons I just think, you recognize this talent and uniqueness in this person, and that is great. But to even recognize and appreciate something special in someone else, you have some of it in yourself. So like Jewel would say to the young women she'd meet, you go out and follow your own dreams! We all have them and some put them on the shelf. Icons and heroes should make us believe in ourselves and our ability to achieve our own dreams and to be our own unique selves.


Miranda said...

I wonder if the fear is really fear of success? I sometimes feel this is the crux for me. Success may mean higher expectations. Nevertheless, I coach myself with this quote, ascribed to hockey great Wayne Gretsky: "You always miss the shot you never take." IE, not trying is itself a kind of failure, so to escape total failure you have to make an attempt....

Also, I've found success to be more forthcoming not when I've had a positive attitude, but with a disinterested frame of mind -- neutral, open, but with no expectations. Very Zen!

Anonymous said...

Beleive in yourself and be honest with who you are...don't rely on other views to distort the vision you may positive and respect their differences of opinion

you'll be fine

Anonymous said...

I've always liked this quote... it reminds me a lot of your previous post:

"A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cats, dogs, butterflies, and people."
~ John Steinbeck, Winter of Our Discontent

Anonymous said...

Self doubt?? this was the first blog entry I read after poking around your website for the first time. You write well, go to lots of interesting places, teach, ect. And you still have self-doubts?? At least they don't stop you from doing interesting and meaningfull things.
I'm a full time mom, (and the jury is still out on how that's going to turn out) I have above average intelligence, and I have nothing to show for my time on this earth(no I'm not dispondant just bored) I thought I had a monopoly on self-doubt.

Anonymous said...

I found your site by reading "Fish Wars" I'm so glad to see a rational view about faith and evolution. I don't understand the element that has chosen to make the subject so devisive. I keep telling my husband that if I were a bumpersticker-type-person mine would say "God is Love". I think people need that reminder. The public face of "Christians" is so judgemental, unforgiving, and unkind toward anyone with opposing views I'm embarassed to use the name. I'm not one of "Them".