It may come as a great surprise, but I’m rather shy. I’m not a risk-taker, and I’m terrible at making up my mind. My comfort zone is a small area. An active, excitable fun one, but petite. Like me.
When I’m in a crowd of people I don’t know, I hang back to the side, heart pounding, wondering if I look weird. You know, that girl you see in the corner, apparently enthralled in her iPhone, pretending she doesn’t care that she’s by herself? Me.
I tend to walk on the opposed side of danger. I don’t like fast cars, thrill rides, or popularity contests. I don’t take the easy road, or even the one well-travelled. But, I do take the safe one. The one with cushioning. The sure thing.
I dither. I wonder if I’ve made the wrong decision. I’m that girl they hate on Say Yes to the Dress. You know the one who tries on 400 dresses? I’m one of those people who can’t even decide if she should stop at the store. I let the car decide. Have you ever done that?
I have fear. That’s what it is. Fear of making a fool of myself, of saying the wrong thing, of being rejected, of not being LIKED. Of not winning. Of LOSING. Of making the wrong decision, of losing out, of being sorry of my choice, of not trusting my judgement. Fear of FAILURE.
The fears are well-founded, I think. I’m sensitive, and maybe a bit annoying. I’ve been rejected by people, dumped by friends. The stories don’t belong here, but let’s just say I’ve known some not nice people that have fed the insecure beast inside of me. I’ve made some poor decisions (ditching Journalism school for a cross-country adventure? DUH!), but also some great ones (19 years of marriage is nothing to sneeze at).
I’ve taken one HUGE leap in my life. After University, I decided on a whim to go to Israel by myself. By myself?? Stupid, maybe, impulsive, yes, considering how shy I am. I didn’t think it through at all, and luckily, found a travel partner before departing.
In the last week I’ve taken steps to trounce the fear. I’m a trouncer. My heart pounds, I’m sweating just thinking about what I’ve done (and not from the hot flashes).
Trounce Activity #1: I wrote. I write. I NaNoWriMo’d. It may be good, it may be bad. But, my friend Marci gently encouraged forced me to edit the first 15 pages of my NOVEL and send it in to the Humber Writer’s Workshop.
Fears addressed: of failure, of being rejected, of being told I’m bad, of not being liked, of having my dreams defeated
Trounce Activity #2: I entered a contest. To be the Bille Lotto blogger. It has voting. Where people have to vote for ME. Instead of someone else. Three rounds of voting. Where people have to vote for me. Instead of someone else.
Fears addresses: fear of failure, of losing, of people not liking me, of being ignored of being irrelevant, of being embarrassed.
Time will only tell whether I get accepted to the workshop, or even if my novel gets finished or even published (new FEAR: What if nobody buys it?!) Time will only tell whether I made it through the first round of voting, then the second, and then the third (no fear of whether I would suck at the Blogger job, because I know I could KILL that!)
I don’t really care at this point if I get accepted, or if I win the contest. Because I’m a trouncer. Even though I’m still afraid, I too the leap of faith to actually DO the deed. I’ve already climbed the mountain. And I’m waving at you from the top.
(I’m actually LYING. I really care. I want to get in, I want to be a novelist (eek), and I want people to vote for me. I’m like Sally Field. I want you to like me, to really like me. But, in order to trounce the fear, I’m pretending I don’t care. Capisch?)
Do you have fears? How do you overcome them?
More importantly, ARE YOU GOING TO BUY MY BOOK? AND ARE YOU GOING TO VOTE FOR ME?