If you ask most anybody to describe me, you’ll find a theme:
“bold and courageous,”
“creative and flashy.”
And I can own that; I have my own special brand of crazy.
But, I have a confession. I am terribly boring when it comes to my fear.
You see, my fear shouts “STOP!” to me, every single time I sit down to write. Fear doesn’t offer interesting insight or compelling rationale. Never. It just SCREAMS ad nauseam that one word, repeated and repeated with increasing hysteria: “STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!”
My fear wants me to stop, because it wants me to be safe, as it perceives all inspiration, all work, all risk, all passion *whatsoever* as potentially life-threatening. My fear’s wicked whispers of inadequacy and destructive comparison have paralyzed me, freezing my confidence when it comes to sharing stories of learning and my experiences as an educator.
For the longest, I’ve almost celebrated this fear: pretending as if it were a unique kryptonite that only I felt; but it’s not. Your fear is exactly the same as mine. I guarantee it. You see, fear is common. It’s ordinary. My fear wants me to be disconnected from my supports and to feel alienated and self-conscious in my pursuits of excellence. My fear wants me to live a smaller life, a life without sparkle or design. That, my friends, is not the life I want to live.
Most often, that which makes us nervous, unsettled, even downright-shaking-in-our-boots-with-sweaty-palms, is the world challenging us to reveal our superpowers and share the genius we all have inside us. Discomfort and uncertainty allow us to rethink a situation, reframing it with creativity and clarity. This simple reflection is the very basis of learning and, in turn, is the threshold of innovation.
You see, I struggle with comparison. I am my harshest critic. I worry that I am not enough. These are fears — unfounded and ordinary. It’s time to silence them. It’s time to embrace the tingle, that twinge which whispers to try, to be bold, to champion for kids.
So, here’s to vulnerability and critiques; to stumbles and blown shots; to tweaks and epiphanies. Because that, my friends, is where true learning lives. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll face these fears together and #BEEtheChAnGe for our kiddos.