Doubts—why are some of us riddled with them and others have balls of steel, as it were. I have often wondered about that. What quality do people like Steve Jobs, Oprah, Barack Obama have that I seem to lack. What allowed them to look past the risks of taking a certain path to go ahead and attain what I’m sure many told them was impossible.
I am a case study in fearing to attempt. I sucked at all those things most kids could do. Whistling took me forever to master. I couldn’t blow a bubble with gum, I was a mess at sports and I never learned how to ride a bike. Add to that the fact that my brothers took great joy in making fun of me and you have the perfect recipe for a non-risk taker. I’ve always tended towards the “play it safe” side of things. Plus, I’m a middle child, so I was always about not rocking the boat too. Then there’s the whole Catholic school thing of the 1960s…. My daughter has a self-assuredness that I am in awe of.
I don’t know if it’s all a front, but she doesn’t seem to be intimidated by anyone. I admire that so much. [Of course, she is the oldest, so that may have something to do with it.] I did try to instill in her the idea that women are equals to men, so I’ll take credit for that much of it.
I know I’m smart and that I have a lot of talents and abilities, but more often than not I let insecurities get the better of me and don’t “go for it.” The few times I have dug deep to find the courage, I have felt really proud of myself—and enjoyed an awesome experience.
Like taking on the role of Hamlet’s mother for my first ever foray into Shakespeare. That was ballsy—I could have totally fallen on my ass. But I think I rocked it out, if I do say so myself…
I went through a period of feeling empowered when I decided it was time to save myself from a bad marriage. Unfortunately, life has enjoyed pissing on me during the decade plus I have been on my own and my get up and go got up and went.
So I am going to make a concerted effort to push myself more—and grow a pair.
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