First of all, I am fine :). Thank you for asking. These past few weeks has been the most eventful, prosperous and encouraging time I’ve had in a while. None of it was expected, and all of it I am grateful for. This has been one of the most prosperous times of my life, and I thank God for everything.
As far as the second part of your question, I had to sit and really think about what the answer is. It’s ironic that I a because after leaving a prayer session last night, I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who asked me “What is your biggest fear?”. My initial answer was failure, because that genuinely is my biggest fear. He then said “Nah, that’s a common one. What’s your other biggest fear?” I thought about it and eventually came up with the honest answer: expectations.
I have had dreams since I was a child of writing. I wanted my work to be shown in so many places, and the thought of my name in bold font would motivate me. I knew I was smart. I knew I was capable. What I didn’t know, however, was that fearing success was just as deadly as fearing failure. And because of this, my dreams would remain dreams, because I was afraid of trying and not seeing results, and letting myself and everyone else down.
As I drove home, I began to realize that I had made expectations to be hardships on my life. I had become so afraid of letting people down and not amounting up to what everyone expected of me, that I would often sell myself short. My mind would expect failure, constantly telling me “You’re not going to get that GPA. You won’t be selected for this position. They aren’t going to call you back. You won’t hear a yes.”. I had engraved this into my mind, my attitude, and eventually my performance. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t reach success, I wouldn’t even try hard enough to perform well. Even though I had the skill,the experience and as much, if not more, talent than everyone else, I had set myself up for failure so that it didn’t hurt as much when it finally came. I became my worst enemy, my hardest critic, and my biggest hater.
This may come as a surprise to many people who will read this, as a lot of my readers are some of my biggest supporters, who constantly remind me that I am doing amazing things, and that I have so much further to go. But, what does support mean if a star doesn’t even know that they shine? Everyone in a room can believe in you, but this does nothing if you don’t believe in yourself.
I began praying for confidence and direction. I started to see myself for all that I can do, and all that I deserve. My worth became evident, and I could finally see all that I had to offer. Once I realized all that I was capable of, I knew I owed myself a huge favor by reaching beyond my dreams. I started doing things that many my age wouldn’t dream of. I started sending emails with my resume and work samples to publications that I KNEW I belonged in, and knew I could see myself writing for. I began to stop having expectations for myself, because I knew I could beat all of them. In shorter terms, I just started going crazy.
While everything has not been a success, and I do hear “no” from time to time, I’m no longer paralyzed by fear of it anymore. I know that my big “yes” is coming, but I will never find out if I never try. I could have been doing this well months ago if I had this motto in me then; now, my goal is to make up for lost time.
I am grateful for all that I have been able to accomplish so far, but I am humbled by the fact that I know I have so much further to go. The expectations people have for me no longer affect me, because I just know I can, and will, go far. I will be great. I will be prosper. I will live a life of purpose, because that is what God has set up for me. And this, I know for sure.