On Fear

After giving thanks for all the things I have (and a few things I don’t), I’m now downshifting into mildly dramatic lamentations on this year’s missed opportunities and outright screw-ups, both professional and personal. It’s just that time of year.

I’ve done some things well in 2011. I’ve had a few breakthroughs with the dance, of which I am proud, but I’ve still got a long way to go before I overcome my dance stutter. But I’m starting to think my technique may better served by simply taking a different approach to life …

I’ve screwed up many things in my life because of fear: fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of disappointing or hurting others. That last one is truly unfortunate because some folks sure aren’t concerned about hurting/disappointing me. And it’s only taken me the better of 37 years to figure out that fear is getting me nowhere. Stupid fear. What I need to do is punch fear in its big, fat, stupid face.

No one likes rejection, but for me it’s completely devastating. I might act like it’s not, but it is. I have a pretty good brave face, I think, but underneath I’m a weepy mess. So, I’ve tried to avoid rejection at all costs. If I were to be completely open here (which I won’t), I’d say give me 30 seconds and I could give you at least 20 things I regret not doing because of fear of rejection. Everything from not sharing ideas in work meetings, to not approaching the hot/interesting guy who’s caught my attention. That second one alone deserves its own blog.

I have dreams and goals I’ve yet to pursue or even tell anyone about because there’s a chance I’ll fail — which sucks because I do have a lot of ideas and maybe, just maybe, even a little bit of talent. Still, there’s always that annoying little voice inside that tells me, “No you can’t do that yet. It’s not good enough. You have to get it right before you can show the world.” Damn that voice. How can I shut off that bitchy pessimistic voice and turn on the peppy cheerleader voice that tells me I’m awesome? If there’s a switch for that, can someone please tell me where it is?

I am getting better at calling people out on their crap if they’ve offended me, when in the past I wouldn’t do that for fear of hurting their feelings. I’m not even putting effort into this one. I’ve just finally become so fed up with people getting away with bad behavior at my expense that I refuse to deal with it. Score one for the chicken.

What does this have to do with the dance? Everything. I can’t be afraid of taking risks and falling on my face (figuratively and possibly literally) if I’m to progress. I need to embrace challenges and accept the opportunities that are presented to me. I need to quit being scared of missing the beat or I might never really find it.

Let 2012 be the year in which I risk failure and rejection and either a) find wild success or b) fail epically and live to write about it here.

Thoughts?

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