I haven’t written anything in a while.
I had a conversation a couple of months ago about the blog that spooked me. I started to question why I should write anything down. What particular wisdom do I have to share? Why would anyone care what I have to say?
I’ve come up against this in practically every meaningful pursuit of my life so far. Every job. Parenting. Marriage. Running.
I’m generally a positive person with a strong sense of myself. I tend to start off feeling confident, enthusiastic, and energetic. But then some bit of doubt creeps in. Someone challenges me. Or something doesn’t go as planned. I start to think, you know what, I’m not cut out for this. I don’t even know how I got here. I don’t have the skills/experience/talent/passion/commitment/patience.
Ultimately, I know that this line of thinking is a pretty lame attempts at preserving my fragile ego. If I don’t try, I can’t fail. If I don’t risk myself, I won’t get hurt.
It’s easy to be a cynic. To sit on the sidelines and cast aspersions. To be a pundit.
It’s much harder and scarier to try and do something.
And, something doesn’t have to be everything. Extremes are easy to pursue but much harder to sustain. I sometimes pursue the most extreme version of things in order to give myself a rationale exit strategy. Well, of course that wasn’t sustainable. I had to quit!
It’s not enough to recognize imposter syndrome for what it is. I’ve known the concept for years. I’ve been able to name it when I feel it. What I haven’t been able to do is to name the fear and the doubt for what it is – an excuse for me to avoid failure and shame.
Instead of interpreting those fearful moments as a sign that I’m too far out on a limb, I am going to try understanding them as the chance to build my reservoir of faith and resolve.
There is a song from the Indigo Girls that I love called Hammer And A Nail. My favorite line is this:
“The sweetest part is acting after making a decision.”
Here’s to living in that sweetness.