Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Betwixt and between...

Well, I started my new position as the secretary of the potter's guild last night and realized I really haven't outgrown my aversion to responsibility. Every now and then I commit myself to a project only to experience a sudden sense of panic over the expectation. Last night was a repeat of that feeling. It's kind of weird and has left me reflecting a lot today on why I become so insecure over this type of situation. It's not as though I'm not capable of doing the job. I know I can. It's more than that. It's the wanting to do the job. I say yes, and then find myself wondering if it was a dumb idea. It's almost a fear of failure, and yet not really because I know am perfectly capable of meeting the standard. I think it's more being afraid of what might be expected - that there's some hidden monster responsibility that I'm going to have to meet and that I'll hate every minute of it. That leads to my typical flight desire which I quickly suppress and then wonder why I'm feeling so antsy. So how do I fix that? Not exactly sure.

It happens when I begin new projects quite frequently. I commit myself to the process and then worry I might encounter an insurmountable obstacle at some future point. At least now I recognize when I'm doing it and can try and talk myself out of the anxiety. But it makes me wonder what part of my emotional development got short-changed along the way to create the pattern in the first place.

I remember nervous stomachaches as a child over tests and assignments as well as migraines as a teen. I remember missing school only to have to face my anxieties another day. I've outgrown a lot of it, but I still get the occasional twinge and it makes me wonder why I have this innate insecurity. What am I actually afraid of? If I really think about it, it's the same thing that keeps me from throwing aside my cautions and chasing my deepest dreams. It's why I wrote like a demon for 3 years only to suddenly let go rather than attempt to do something with it. It's why I have bursts of creativity only to walk away from them at some point. I suspect I'm afraid of succeeding and what that might mean. Untapped potential is somehow more attractive to me than actual success. I think it's the comfortable nature of it. It's familiar and doesn't have to turn into anything unless I want it to. And really, it's probably the root of a lot of things I struggle with repeatedly.

So how does one overcome fear of what they could be/do? How do you stop being afraid of yourself? It's a difficult question. And viciously introspective as well. How do I stop going only so far and then backing away? I'll have to figure it out someday.


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of generalised anxiety disorder. You didn't seriously think you would be the only child to beat the mental illness bug, didja? ;)

  2. I'm well aware of the family propensity for horribilizing...I'm a master, believe me.