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Friday, June 3, 2016

Jump Those Hurdles

Chasing Maturity

Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don't see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.”
Marianne Williamson

Do you find yourself bumping into limits of your own making? Do you set out to do something, something important to you, something you've thought about all your life, but when it comes right down to it, your refuse to take the final step? Do you feel that you need someone who knows more than you do to pat you on the back and say, “Yes, you've got this—go for it,” before you can make the final push? Is it fear of rejection? Fear of success and how it will change your life? Fear...just fear?

Don't worry; you're not alone. A lot of smart, capable people harbor such fears. Others have labeled it “Impostor Syndrome” because we have to attribute pathology to every human foible these days. Wikipedia defines it this way: “High achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.” I know a number of people, myself included, who share this trait. I just call it lack of confidence that shuts you down.

As children, some of us were the identified “smart one” in our family unit, and some were not. Some of us seized upon the one thing we were really bad at and used it as indication of overall failure as a human being. I can't say what causes us to do this, but perhaps there were subtle, and not so subtle, messages from those in authority over us that humiliated us and caused us to doubt ourselves. That was when we were children and we're still carrying that wound and nursing it.

At any rate, coming to terms with one's own lack of confidence is a big life challenge. Taking the risk of being rejected, of not succeeding, of feeling that childhood humiliation again, is a big hurdle to jump. There are many such hurdles to jump on the road to maturity. My grandmother had a word for what it takes to do that—gumption. It takes gumption to face your self-built walls. Here's more of my grandmother's advice: “Buck up, and get going!”

                                                            In the Spirit,


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