Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monday Mantra: Shake the Self-Doubt

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Shake the self-doubt

Next week I embark on a little adventure called Turning 30 Years Old. While most people dread this day, I have been looking forward to it my whole life. When I was little, when I was younger, I never felt like I fit in correctly with the rest of the world. I always felt old and different and kind of out of place. Each year that has brought me closer to this has been one I've looked forward to. To finally be the age you've felt all along is a nice thing, if you ask me.

Turning any age makes you reflect on things - decisions, mistakes, The Should've-Would've-Could've's.  Lately, I've been thinking about the self doubt and fear that have held me back over the years. The thoughts of I'm not good enough, talented enough, smart enough.

If you've been a reader of mine for a while you know there have been many things I've wanted to do in my pursuit of When I Grow Up. A lot have been unrealistic like, oh, wanting to be a pirate. But there was one thing I loved before I knew about anything else and that was architecture.

When I was a little girl I would dream of houses. Big, amazing, fantastic houses with color and light and floor plans unrealistic to what we know of today. And when I would wake, I would draw out those  plans in a sketch book so that one day I could build them when I became an architect. I had hundreds of them. Hundreds of dreams to build. But that day never came. I never let it.

It wasn't always like that, though. I let myself try. Once.

When I was in high school I was so certain of my future in this field that I convinced my school to let me take two classes at the same time in the mornings. Half of the hour I would be in my required morning class and the other half I would be in a drafting class. In that class I met my friend, Brian, who helped me learn all the tricks and tools of drafting. My teacher even let me take the software and download it on my home computer to practice because hand drawing a floor plan and doing it on the computer were two very different things, I came to find out. But I was elated, excited, on my way to being the next Frank Lloyd Wright. Until the day I talked to my advisement counselor at school.

I was figuring out where to go to college and what I needed to become an architect and it turned out I needed a lot of math classes. A lot, a lot. And math and I had never been very good friends. Even though now I know that after a lot of studying I'm sure I could've conquered it, all of my self-doubt, all of my negative I can't do this talk crept in and I let it take over what I loved. I let it convince me that I would never make it as an architect. That I would never be good enough, talented enough, smart enough.

I've never again tried to rekindle that old dream of mine. I let it die that day. Sometimes though, after a vivid dream of some beautiful house I still sketch it out and imagine what it would've been like to actually make my paper come to life.

Looking back over the ages, what I can say I've learned beyond all else is this: Self doubt is fear. Fear is the contrast of love. And anything that is the opposite of love - while not bad or wrong or terrible - is, however,  something I no longer want holding me back. I will not let myself shrink back from the light of that which I love.

I'm letting go of fear and doubt and holding on to what I want to be, do, create in this world.

What will you do?


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