Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fear of Greatness

I have talked some on my blog about my fear of failure. I struggle hugely with fearing failure in everything from weight loss to writing. In the past it has kept me from even trying. I really feel I'm getting a handle on this fear. I've stared that fear down and not let it beat me. I have began those tasks head on that I was afraid to start in the past out of fear of failing them.

Prior to starting my blog I had no idea fear had such a hold on my life. But it did and still does in some ways. Upon much soul searching lately I have realized I have a fear of being great. A fear of greatness?! Say what?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this and had a long conversation with my sister about it. I am afraid to be great. To be anything special. To stand out. To be better than someone else. This may sound absurd to some and I will do my best to explain. This post and how to best put into words what I feel has been swimming around my head for days.

My entire life I have had people who have made me feel that I need to make my self less than. Less smart. Less attractive. Less successful. Less everything. Close people, important people. For some reason they view me being great as them being put down somehow. I guess keeping me down makes them feel better somehow? Maybe they are competing with me? I really don't understand their motives. But, I believe this has had an affect on my weight as well as many other aspects in my life.

I am afraid to be beautiful. I couldn't believe I was saying it when I said it to my sister on the phone. But it is true. Even typing this I am trying to figure out how to say it without sounding full of myself (which I am NOT) because I don't want people to 'think' that I see myself as beautiful. 

In my past I have always had family members or close friends that were...I guess jealous of me? That is the only thing I can figure to explain it. But I always felt that I had to downplay myself. To be less than. Especially concerning my looks. If they weren't putting me down, I was putting myself down.

Now I'm not saying I'm some gorgeous gal or something, but I've always been curvy and whatever. In my single days I had a few guys look my way. Any attention I received for my looks these people in my life would roll their eyes and act like I was...I don't even know what. But it was huge attitude by them and it has made me be afraid to say anything nice or good about my looks AT ALL, EVER. If anyone says anything nice to me I have always felt obliged to play it off. It embarrasses me. Somehow these people have made me feel guilty for my appearance! I am trying very hard to learn to just say thank you to compliments and leave it at that. 

If we went shopping and tried on clothes heaven forbid something look good on me. If I looked good in a pair of sunglasses they made me look like a 'bitch'. If I was doing my makeup I got mean stares. If I got a cute new haircut...you get the picture. Somehow all these events were about them. Heaven forbid I lose weight!

It goes deeper than just my appearance. I have never felt I can be smart or successful out loud either!

My ex husband made me feel like I was a show off if I used too big of words. Possibly why he's the ex?! But that's just one example of many where I have felt I can't show I have a brain. I did well in school, but much of it I did very quietly. I didn't want to stand out, especially around certain people. 

If I succeed at anything these people in my life make me feel like I'm being a show off, like I'm full of myself, like I think I'm a big deal. How dare I think I'm...anything. It's like I'm in competition with them, but they're not even trying, so..uh, guess I'm winning?! It seems they feel I am putting them down somehow just by being ME. My marathon...ya, that went over REAL well.

While I am not sure if I have explained the situation well, I see it very clearly now. I have got to stop feeling I have to be less than for other people. I am not in charge of them and their feelings. I cannot keep myself down because of their choices in their lives. It is not a competition. They don't have to lose because I win...I can be me even if that means being great at things. Even if that means becoming a successful writer. Even if that means running races. Even if that means having a great husband and kids. Even if that means being thin. Even if that means being beautiful. It's OK to be me. It's OK to be GREAT.