I'm not sure when the fear started. My mother used to marvel at my ability to walk into social situations alone. I'm still not afraid of large crowds of people I don't know. I can make conversation with the best of them. I'm confident that I can find common ground somewhere.
That's not the fear that I feel right now.
I am pretty sure that most of the adults in my life during my formative years had high expectations of me. I was an achiever. I got good grades. I won awards. But somehow, sometimes, I feel like I didn't live up to that potential. Somewhere along the way, I quit striving. I began to settle for what's easy, what's comfortable. I began to let fear of failure hold me back.
An opportunity has presented itself to me. An opportunity to stretch very far outside of my comfort zone. Immediately the little voice in my head started up. I'm not qualified. It's too hard. It's too far away. They wouldn't want me.
Is any of this really true, or is this just my way of staving off failure? If, somehow, this opportunity came to fruition, it would be the hardest thing I've ever done. But deep down I think I could do it. So, what then am I afraid of?
I'm afraid of putting myself out there.
I'm afraid of letting someone that I respect see my resumé, which feels paltry.
I'm afraid of being found wanting.
I'm afraid of change.
I'm afraid of wanting it.
I'm afraid of not wanting it.
What if they don't want me?
What if they do?
But I'm also afraid of living my life never trying again. Never striving to be better. To be more. To live up to my potential.
So, I'm taking that step. What's that old saying? The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? Nobody told me that single step would feel like stepping off a cliff.
1 year ago