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.

2 comments:

  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? ;)

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

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