I am scared. I’ve been scared for years. Terrified, actually.
Not unlike many people, I am hyper-sensitive about and afraid of failure. That word has never really existed in my vocabulary. As a child I did my best to not get in trouble. As a student, I usually received A’s and B’s on tests and assignments. In gym class, I ran hard. In drama class, I performed well. In science class, I absorbed as much information as I could. In math class, I cheated and used my cell phone as a calculator (just kidding – I’m old school; we didn’t have phones back then!). In art class, I coloured in the lines, afraid to be too creative with any assignment handed my way. And that’s where it all began. I became used to my teacher’s and parents’ approval of my ability to perform well without taking too many risks. I got used to being given tasks, producing my best work possible without getting too creative or “out there”, and receiving a good grade. I never wanted my teachers or parents to think I didn’t care about their expectations, so time after time, I worked towards meeting their expectations, not my own.
Flash forward to my adult years. Thanks to good ol’ social media, we are inundated with articles about “how to live an authentic life” or “10 tips to stay true to yourself”. These articles are meant to encourage the reader to reflect on their lives and focus on items that bring them happiness. These articles frequently ask the reader to evaluate their career choice and get out of any jobs that do not bring happiness. I have certainly had jobs where I hated going to work, and I realized in my early 20’s that life was too short to work a job you don’t care about. I made a change. I went back to college after completing university. I re-routed my life in a carefully planned manner, and I currently have a great career and feel genuinely blessed because of it. However, something is still missing from my life. And I am still scared.
I am scared of being complacent,
Yet I’m afraid I already am.
I am scared of standing out,
Yet I am afraid of fitting in.
I am scared to be in the spotlight,
Yet I shine brightly when it’s on me.
I am scared to voice my opinions further than my group of friends,
Yet I know people around the globe agree with me on many topics.
I am scared to become really athletic and fit,
Yet I feel best when I am active.
I am scared of really great success,
Yet I want to inspire.
I am scared that so much of my potential is going to waste,
Yet I have never given up.
And I won’t. Because all these things that I am scared of are calling to me, begging me to prove myself wrong.