I suffer from another word for fear…..discouragement. Someone close to me told me a few years ago that I am very easily discouraged. If something is hard, or someone doesn’t agree with me, my natural tendency is to stop.
Maybe some of you can relate to this…..since I was a kid, things were pretty easy for me. I was a good student and musician. I made it into Honors classes, including AP English with little effort. I was in the top band at one of the top high school music programs in the state. I ended up in the top 5% of my graduating class. I know some of you are saying, “Poor Debbie. What is she complaining about? I had to work my butt off to get a B.” And I would say to that, you learned something valuable that I didn’t. Sometimes things worth doing and having require hard work and overcoming negativity and failure. I grew up with an inner belief that if I couldn’t do something right the first time, I just couldn’t do it. End of story. Give up. Move on.
Remember William Hong? He was the guy from the American Idol auditions that received almost as much press as the actual winners because he was really bad in an entertaining way. I saw him on American Idol show and Ryan Seacrest asked him something to the effect of what was he good at. He responded, “I’ve had to work hard for almost everything in my life.” The audience laughed. Seacrest continued, “But that’s taught you the value of perseverence and hard work.” Hong nodded in agreement.
There’s something to be said for having to work hard for what you have. People like me who didn’t have to work hard in school might get comfortable where they are and not take risks. Whenever I ran up against criticism or someone laughed at me when I messed up, I folded and retreated to a place where I was comfortable. Only now do I see it for what it is. Discouragement, another word for fear.
Don’t let it keep you from taking risks. Risk failure. Risk looking foolish. It’s the only way to find out who you really are. Let courage overcome discouragement.