Today’s blog is an open letter to myself.
In recent weeks I have struggled with distractions. Work, family and even situations created by my own hands. For the most part, they were minor to medium challenges that involved my time and attention to correct and work through. The thing about time, though, is that it does not flow from an eternal source. We have limited hours in a day, days in a week and so on. Our very life span is hemmed in by factors mostly out of our control or knowledge. We are all encouraged to make each moment count and count the moments so our goals can be realized. So how do we minimize the distractions? Or are they distractions at all? Could we (I) be subconsciously disrupting momentum driven out of fear? Fear of what? What are we (I) so afraid of?
Fear Of Success – I honestly had never even heard of this until recently and would not have considered it a legitimate possibility, however I was listening to a radio talk show when a woman called in with an idea that her fear of success was stalling her medical career. The host of the show unwittingly sided with me by scoffing and retorting that she did not believe there was such a thing. I have researched it however, and there is enough chatter about it to make it worth mentioning.
There are different theories behind having a fear of success. One is a person’s struggle with accepting that they deserve it. Can they handle it? Hugh MacLeod, an advertising guru and cartoonist, once said that success is more complex than failure. There are varying degrees of success and each new level creates distinct obstacles and decisions. Am I ready? Do I know what I’m doing? Will I be made a fool of? For me, honestly, I try not to think about success. It seems vain and arrogant, even though I understand a broader platform would mean bringing my message of HOPE to a wider audience. But for me, the one (silly) concern is opening the door for criticism. Right now, I enjoy a fairly insulated bubble of friends and family who support and encourage me because of their affection for me. For others who do not share that affection, I may experience negative feedback or even hurtful opinions and reactions. People can be quite vocal while hiding behind a computer screen. I guess for all of us, the drive towards the goal has to outrun any rejection.
Fear Of Failure – This fear is much easier to understand. I dare say everyone has had one or two moments of being afraid to fail, lose, fall short, miss the boat. Most of us have these moments all through life. Big (and little) decisions regarding jobs, relationships, purchases, parenting, health; we all filter through our mind’s colander to try and catch all the potential flaws in our plan. This is also known as over-thinking and people do this more than they realize. The what-ifs have stifled many a dream.
Again, for me, a fear of failure looks more like a waste of time. Is that you too? The wondering if all the time and energy invested would be better served doing laundry, weeding the garden or catching up with friends? Do we (I) use the distractions of a busy life to put our dream on hold ‘just one more day’. My Hopefuls, we must realize that our days are a precious commodity. Of course, we must attend to our responsibilities, but we must also make time for the passions and pursuits that excite and motivate us. Failure is only in the surrender. Giving up is not an option. For any of us.
Fear Of The Unknown – Certain people have the Explorer Gene and love to attack life head on with little or no fear. I did not inherit that gene. For us mere mortals, the familiar is our comfort zone and outside the fence is a scary place. We can predict with some certainty what will happen if we stick to our routine and not cause waves. There is safety in the ordinary and unremarkable, but seldom do great things come from ordinary. I want the chance to be memorable and remarkable, so that requires a leap of faith into the unknown. I do not know where your comfort zones are or how safe your limits. What I do know, is that if there is a purpose driving you, open the gate and drive straight past those cozy fences. And know with certainty, that I am coming up right behind you!
There is one thing I want to make clear…I do not live my life in fear. I love my life and very thankful and extremely blessed. I will admit there are times when I struggle with my own direction and purpose. That might give some cause to wonder why I believe I could help others! My answer to that is, we are all in this together. We need to support, uplift and encourage one another. It is my passion in life to spearhead that operation. Do I have all the answers? No way! Is my heart in the right place? You bet it is! We can all learn from each other and step by step make a positive impact in the world where we live. If everyone does that, image how far reaching that good can travel? Will you help me? Will you set aside your distractions and fears? Can we, together, accomplish the daily goal to….
Hope With Abandon!