Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Fear of Failure
“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 doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are 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 grew up with a mother who seemed to be jealous of me. As a very small child I was quite precocious and loved being the center of attention. Whether it was singing, dancing, drawing, writing stories, roller skating, I was filled with joy and wanted to share it. All of that got shut down when a stranger molested me at seven and the discord between my parents, as well as their inadequate parenting skills, altered the trajectory of my life.
After that, I lived in the dark, afraid of my own feelings, afraid to go outside and play, afraid to open up to others, afraid to live. Like a chameleon, I shaped my opinions and actions according to who I was with, becoming the person I thought others wanted me to be. Completely out of touch with who I really was, my life was empty, devoid of passion and light. I wasn't aware of a fear of failing. And it wasn't until I began a spiritual journey in 1978 and started reading self-help books, that I had an inkling about my issues and started to heal.
It wasn't fear of failure that kept me from doing what I wanted to do.It was fear of success. How I work around that fear is letting my light shine. I had to learn to give myself permission to be successful. Sometimes it comes in the strangest ways. I was playing a game with two 10-year-olds and an eight-year old. I won. My immediate response was, "I'm sorry." All three girls looked at me like I was an alien and said, "What are you apologizing for?" I told them my mother had said it wasn't nice to win - it would make others feel bad. Now I know winning is okay. Gloating is not.
Allowing our light to shine is a gift, not only to ourselves, but to others as well. These days, my life is filled with activities that made my light shine as a child. I folkdance once a week, sing every day, write as often as possible, and laugh and giggle with friends. My prayer every morning is to be allowed to stand in God's light and for my awareness and sharing of that experience to keep expanding.
My mother meant well. I know it was not her intention to hurt me or to suppress my talents or gifts. But that is what happened. To blame her is a waste of time and energy. Failure isn't possible when you are living your life doing the best you can in any given moment. It can only happen if we don't even try.