Happy 2013, world! Yes, I know I’m a little behind the times, but at least it’s still January
Goodness, it’s been such a long time from writing, so let’s just jump right in! Although I apologize for my long absence, I can make no promises that I will update extremely frequently. Let’s face it, I’ve said it before and look how far we’ve come…or haven’t. How often do we make “promises” to ourselves or to others that we will definitely do something, but then don’t? We see someone from our past and put on a show that we’ll “call soon,” or that “we’ll make plans” but then forget all about our encounter by the end of the day. Or we say we’re going to try something new, try to change, try to do something different, but then something distracts us or we get discouraged and we just stop. I think we all have a tendency to do these sorts of things, don’t you?
So then the question becomes, why?
If you ask me (or Meredith Grey), I’d say a lot of it has to do with fear.
I know this is going to come as a surprise to many of you (sarcasm!), but I’m a shy person (mostly). Although I can be extremely outgoing, it takes me awhile to get to that point. Granted, I love people. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in clinical psychology. But, I’m shy (or inhibited if you want to get clinically technical Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m painstakingly shy. It would be way too hard to do some of the things I have to do if that were the case. But, nonetheless, this is what it is. In my past, I think there may have been times when I let my shyness get the best of me. I would pass up opportunities (concerning guys/opportunities at school/etc.) because I was afraid of…something. Now, I don’t think this is completely related to my being shy. Lots of people have fears of “something” who are extremely outgoing and far from being shy. But, what is this elusive “something” that I feared (and that I’m guessing many of you fear)? Fear of looking foolish or realizing that your expectations were much different than what actually was? Fear of the possibilities, being embarrassed, or being rejected?
I don’t know that there’s a hard and fast answer to this question…unfortunately. Maybe it differs from person to person, or from situation to situation. Maybe it’s something that we won’t ever be able to fully identify.
So, here’s the thing. At the beginning of this year, my friends from high school and I discussed what our new years resolutions were. Now, that’s a painstaking process. Because it’s easy to forget to follow New Years Resolutions, there were years when I figured, why bother? Why bother saying “This year will be different. This year, I will do x, y, and z,” when it was more often the case that my resolutions often didn’t last past January?
Well, this year I became inspired. This year, I decided things will be different. As I got the text from my friends about my resolutions, I had to think about it for awhile. In May, I graduate with my master’s degree. In August, I hope to be starting a PhD program. A lot of things will be changing. I’ll be 24 this year and if I don’t get into a PhD program, I’ll be starting my real grown-up life (scary!) after graduation. I know 23 and 24 are young. People tell me that all the time. But, I feel like I’m at a point where I need to start thinking about my future and my career and being with someone I want to spend the rest of my life with and starting a family and all the craziness that goes along with that.
So you’re thinking, okay Jeannette get to the point. What does this have to do with your resolutions? Well, my faithful readers, I’ll tell you. It has everything to do with them. After some thought, I responded to my friends the following: “Let go of my inhibition and don’t let it get in the way of accomplishing greatness!” Okay…so the last bit about greatness may have been a little bit dramatic, but you should get the point.
So often, we let this something, this fear, get in the way.
It doesn’t matter what it gets in the way of; it’s enough that our fears prevent us from taking action.
From speaking up about your ideas and values.
From telling someone how we feel about them and asking them out for coffee.
The point is, our fears (this “something”) can prevent us from, well…accomplishing greatness. Think about it for one second; if you let your fears rule your life, maybe you could be missing out on potentially finding your ideal job (because you’re too afraid to apply for the job), or from starting a relationship with someone who could become your potential spouse (because you’re too afraid of the rejection you may face by asking them out).
I guess the whole point of this is to not let your fears (whatever they may be) control your life. Don’t let them prevent you from taking action (whatever that may mean).
I can’t say for certain how the rest of the year will go, but for now, I’ve already started to make this year different.