Apologies for the extended break. Finals and the holiday season put normal operations on hold, but I plan to now resume weekly entries.
After giving myself a few days of down time after what has been a very trying semester and soaking up some family goodness, it is time to take advantage of the extra time winter break affords. For me, this primarily means the job search from now, until signing, will be my top priority. Finding a job in this economy I know will be no easy feat, but it is not the economy, I think, that will pose my biggest challenge, but my own fear.
Fear is not always easily identifiable. It does not always shake us, keep us up at night, fill us with adrenaline or cause the back of our neck to sweat. There are many kinds of fear. There is fear in the sense of alarm at the sense of a threat. There is fear in the sense of concern over performance such as public speaking, or acting as to avoid retribution. However, there is another kind of fear, a smaller creeping, irrational fear that is difficult for me to articulate. It is the fear that plagues me and it is it’s identification and monitoring that is so important to shaping my best life.
Here is a quote from Marianne Williamson on fear that is often printed or passed around in attempts to inspire people to greater heights:
Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
I used to have this hanging on my wall. However, for me at least, it doesn’t quite hit home. Am I afraid of my own light? Do I hide it so that others may not feel uncomfortable? No, I do not think that is my greatest fear. Instead it is the “Who am I to be…” that hits a little closer to home. I do not fear my own brilliance; rather, I think I have become attached to its idea. Instead, I fear that when the time of appraisal comes, I will be found lacking.
This feeling has always been a hindrance. Even when presented with an opportunity, I will hesitate if I feel I might not be qualified for it. I think of the shame and frustration I would feel if I was later to be found unworthy or lacking. You can imagine the sort of inertia this creates when making big life moves! I want it all, I expect the very best for myself, yet the truly dazzling opportunities are easy to pass up. This fear of rejection coupled with the fear of the unknown can be crippling. Groping in the dark, throwing myself at unfamiliar territory whilst doubting my own worth is surely a recipe for disastrous mediocrity and dissatisfaction.
I faced a similar situation when searching for collages, but somehow I made it through that process. Now, as I begin to search for a job, I find myself under similar conditions. The task is daunting. Where do I even start? Where does someone like me even begin to look? How do I sift through this mountain of information? The enormity of this task, the fear of the unknown, and the fear of what the mirror of multiple evaluations and rejections will tell me about myself has kept the job search from being much fun.
That is just the problem though. It should be fun! If not fun, this unique transition and opportunity to shape my life should be exciting. I should be eagerly perusing what is available to me, asking questions and applying to interesting opportunities with clear eyes and a full heart. This is it. I am about to enter the world as a productive member of society. This is what I have worked for. I should be as a child on Christmas, happily tracing over all the mystery packages, wondering what each one will bring.
This is what I should be doing, but up until this point, I haven’t. I have made some serious efforts, but not the kind that would come as a result of real zeal and enthusiasm. My reticence has been crippling.
Going forward I will be making a concerted effort to take courage and not let fear dictate or hinder my actions. I will no longer disengage for fear of what I might discover, but fully engage with my search for a better life.
This will be my battle going forward, but I encourage you to think of something that you know will make your life better. Something you have been meaning to do, or put more focus on, but for some reason, just hasn’t. Why is that? Give it some serious thought, because the root of this kind of self-sabotage will tell you much about yourself and the adjustments to be made for living a better, happier, life.
That is all. ONE thing that you don’t do that you know would make your life better, but you don’t do. Why is that, and what can you do about it?