The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
I suffer from Fearwot! It stops me from taking actions ranging from buying shoes to speaking in front of large audiences to promoting my business. In essence, it keeps me playing small and it keeps me feeling really, really frustrated. Fearwot is fear of what others think. And, it can stop me in my tracks! Let me give you just one small example. I was in a shoe store the other day and I saw this great pair of red patent leather shoes. I loved them, and, they seemed to love me back. I could see myself wearing them and feeling really hip and powerful. But then I started thinking, ‘What would Beth, my ultraconservative sister, think of them and of me for buying them.’ And suddenly, my enthusiasm for the shoes waned. That’s Fearwot in action. Sound familiar?
I’ve always been creative, for pretty much as long as I can remember. My childhood was filled with arts, crafts and music, and every day was an exciting adventure of creation. Somewhere along the way though I lost touch with my creative self. It happened slowly but surely, until one day I found myself at 21 years of age staring blankly at a computer screen filled with spread sheets wondering what on earth I was doing.
It's a good thing that time heals all wounds, because if it didn't I wouldn't be able to talk about writing a forgiveness letter at all. Like the pain of giving birth, you can eventually recall that something hurt, but you don't relive every nuance of the experience. Unfortunately, our hearts don't heal nearly as quickly as our physical selves. We have a tendency to hold our hurts close and cherish them for some reason. I suppose there is the childlike (or childish?) fascination with wanting to pick at the emotional scab to see if it still hurts after a time. If you don't do that, how will you know whether you are healing or not. Unfortunately, every time you revisit the event that hurt you, it brings up the pain like it was yesterday - at least it did for me.
I have lost a lot of friends in my life. Each time I came face to face with the pain of loss, I was presented with a choice. In looking back at my life, I have come to realize that the choice was always the same. At the age of 16, for one and a half years I squandered away my existence, lost in a world of drugs. Two friends who shared this life with me are no longer alive today due to the degree to which we immersed ourselves in despair and self-destruction. As cliche as this may sound, the truth is, almost overnight, my life changed forever.
It seems like a lot of people who write about how to change are the ones who successfully made it happen for themselves. Logically, it makes sense. Who else better to write about how to accomplish something than people who have done it? I love reading articles about how to successfully improve your life and truly appreciate the writers behind them for generously sharing their wisdom. However, it can be discouraging. Before reading an article, I sometimes skip down to the writer’s bio in hopes that they are perhaps in a similar position as myself: just starting out and very green as to how to go about accomplishing their dreams.
It was a hard thing to admit - that I’d done everything I was told to do... and felt empty. Western culture tells us “Get a degree, get a job, get a home, make a lot of money, and happiness is yours.” I’ve tested the theory... It doesn’t work. I used to be a teacher in the inner city. Every morning I would wake up at 530 am to go teach in the poverty stricken neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California. On some level it felt good. On paper, it looked great. Here I was - in my mid 20’s giving my heart and soul to educate america’s underserved youth. But if I’m honest, with you, with myself - I did it for the wrong reasons.