I haven’t written anything on Medium in several months and I don’t have any excuses. There is nothing that I can reach out and grab to throw in front of me as the reason why I haven’t written. I chose not to, even though I wanted to. But why? It wasn’t a busy, hectic schedule. I didn’t neglect to write for lack of subject matter. The only thing that stopped me from writing, was me. I was afraid.
Even as I type this the fear is there lurking in the shadows of my psyche, telling me that my writing is not good enough; that I’m not good enough. You see, I’ve reached a point in my life where I have absolutely no excuses as to why I am not living life at my highest potential. All of the toxic relationships, bad neighborhoods and childhood nightmares are gone. I spent so much time and effort on working through my psychological issues and healing the emotional trauma from my past that I never stopped to consider that all of those things were crutches that I had been leaning on my entire life.
It was always easy for me to rationalize my lack of success when I was battling a history of long-term neglect, alcohol/drug addiction and a life filled with violence and toxic relationships. My past became a shield that I could hide behind when things got tough. But today, none of those external issues exist in my life. I have come to a turning point and it has given me great pause. All of the soul searching, introspection and deep self reflection has helped me make peace with my past, yet here I am sitting stagnant and not moving forward.
Today, I am at a place where I truly feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. But all of the benefits of this major personal growth seem to disappear if I can’t comfortably present my new found confidence to the world at large. Self doubt rings through my mind loudly with every word that I type and every post that I make.
Will people accept this new me? Have I really changed? Is what I have to say relevant to others?
All of this seems completely contradictory, I know. The fear and doubt begs the question:
If you are really okay with yourself and have worked through everything from your past then what are you scared of?
I liken it to a basketball player who has never played a single publicly viewed game. One who has spent all of his/her waking hours developing and perfecting his/her craft but has yet to present his/her abilities to the court for all to see. The anxiety and fear before going out onto the court for that first public exhibition would be palpable.
Am I really as good as I think I am? Can I replicate all of the things I learned during practice in a real game, against real opponents and in front of a real crowd or will I choke?
Questioning ourselves and our motives on a daily basis can be a very useful self-development tool. But when this excercise becomes obsessive and unforgiving it can be detrimental to our personal growth. It is important not to get stuck on questions like:
Can I make it? Am I good enough? Is this going to work out?
Asking these questions is fine but it is pertinent to answer them with action. You absolutely cannot think your way into winning a game without actually playing.
If I compare my life to a video game: The last few months have been me getting to the latter stages of the game and pressing pause. I can’t make any further progress in the game until I unpause it and continue playing.
So it all comes down to this: I made it through some of the toughest levels of the game of life and have finally arrived at the Final Boss Stage: Fear of the Unknown. This article is a testament to my willingness to unpause the game, play through this fear, and venture into the uncharted levels of my future. I am letting go of any and all expectations and trusting that I am prepared for whatever obstacles that I might encounter on my path to success.
I no longer feel the need to hide behind the scars of my past, but rather I will utilize where I have come from as a motivation to get to where I am going. As long as I approach everything that I do with a clean heart and pure motives, I have faith that I will succeed in all of my endevours. Even if I fall, I will not fail. I will get back up and continue on my journey towards greatness.
If you are going through some tough things in your life right now, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t get stuck in the problem, because the solution is right on the other side of the effort and action you are willing to put forth.
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