“F” is for Failure

Posted: September 23, 2012 in Decisions, Thoughts, Writing
Tags: , ,

Today’s prompt asked me to write about something that I am not certain I’d be good at or something I chose not to do because I didn’t know if I could handle it.  This is a tough one because I don’t like to talk about things I don’t think I can do.  I don’t even like to think about things I don’t think I can do.  I prefer to pretend like everything is all good and hope that nobody notices that I bow out when I think I will fail.  Alas, I cannot get away from it today, so I must bare my inner thoughts about this topic, no matter how much I’d prefer not to.

You might wonder why I would even bother if it’s not something I like or want to do.  Well, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been working very hard at getting out of my comfort zone.  I don’t know how much more I can get out of my comfort zone than to share about something that has me quaking inside.  After all, who willingly shares their deepest fears?  I don’t think that I can truly consider myself as getting out of my comfort zone until I am willing to share even those things that are deeply hidden inside of me.  In fact, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if I didn’t even know some of the things I end up writing about.  So, without further ado, allow me to expound upon this topic of things I avoid because I might not be good at them.

There are things that I know I am not good at.  For instance, I am not all that good at math.  I don’t mind working with money – that doesn’t seem like math to me.  I am good at using math principles at work because, again, it doesn’t feel like math, since I’m  just doing my job.  I’m talking about math from textbooks – you know the stuff they test you on.  Somehow having to find out how much “C” is, based upon the different parameters of “A” and “B” gets all tangled up in my mind, and I end up with “A+B=F”.  “F” as in “failure.”  Another thing I have never been all that great with is sports.  I had a few things I was good at like – soccer and sometimes baseball or softball, but the majority of sports just left me feeling like an inept klutz.  So, I guess that’s a good illustration of the things I know I can’t do.  But what about those things I might not be able to do, but don’t know because I’ve never tried?

Well, one of those things is, I’ve never really tried to get published.  I’m serious.  I want to be a published author, but I’ve never actually given it a shot.  I’ve never put myself out there.  Well, there was that one time when I had to attempt to get published in an online publication for a class I was doing on Poetry.  It wasn’t a bad poem – just not what they were looking for.  I don’t really count that one because, the reality is, I’d have never even sent my poem in if I had been given a choice.  It was part of my grade to attempt it, or I’d have never done it.  How’s that for pathetic?

The thing is, I know I’m not a bad writer.  I’m really not.  In fact, I obtained almost perfect scores in every college writing class I ever took.  I even got high scores (and won $100) for one of the worst-written papers I had ever created, not because of the writing, but because of the creativity that went into it.  In addition, another paper that came close to winning in that same contest, was one that I was requested to read in front of other students because it was so well-written.  So, obviously, I must have some talent there.  But the biggest thing holds me back is the question, “Do I have enough talent to make money with my writing?”  The answer is, “I don’t know.”  I just don’t know if I have that much skill.  I think I might, but I don’t know.  And because I don’t know, I haven’t tried.

The sad thing is, my passion lies in my writing.  I had forgotten that for a time.  For several years, I barely wrote a word outside of the writing I do in my job, which isn’t saying much because just about anyone can summarize a contract for others to utilize as a tool.  I’ve written manuals and “official” notifications.  I’ve even edited the writing of others in my team.  But I don’t feel the joy and passion for writing at work.  I only feel it when I sit here, writing out my thoughts and sharing them.  My real passion is to write so that others can see it, not just use it as a tool – especially since it’s not even really my own writing, as much as it is making sure others at my work can understand the contract terms.  I have ideas and thoughts and feelings that I want to share with the world, but my fear of failure holds me back and keeps me captive.

So, I’m working on this.  As you might have noticed, I have been writing more and sharing more.  I’ve been trying to get what’s inside of me out.  This is just a way of getting back into the practice of writing on a more consistent basis, so that I can eventually do what I really want, which is to write a book.  My passion has begun to come alive again, and it’s all I can do not to spend all my time writing or thinking about what I’m going to write.  I know that I have something to share deep down inside of me, and at some point, it’s going to come out.  But what if I hold it all inside and never let it out?  Will I find myself at the end of my life regretting that I never even tried?  And how do I tell my children to reach for their dreams if I’m never willing to reach for mine.

So, I’ve begun the process.  I’m working on the research.  I’m practicing up on my writing.  I’m thinking and planning.  But, most of all, I’m doing it.  I’m writing, and I’m sharing.  And really, what more can anyone really ask of me?  What more can I ask of myself?

What about you?  Do you have something you haven’t tried because you aren’t sure you can do it?  Do you have a passion that you’ve been hiding because you just might not be good enough?  What are you going to do in order to start working toward your dreams?

Until Next Time,


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