When You Are Not Afraid…

Today I ate lunch at the new Chinese buffet that just opened up in our town.  As usual, when the fortune cookies were delivered, I waved my hand over the top of them to feel the energy coming from each one.  That is how I make my choice as to which one I will take.  The one I must take feels different from the others.

I was quite taken back by the saying printed on the small white piece of paper.  It read, “When you are not afraid to do it wrong the first time, you’ll eventually get it right!.”

A long time ago I made a commitment to myself to never let fear stop me from doing anything I wanted to do.  I was raised by a mother who found fear at every turn.  Though she was gifted beyond imagination, she never really did anything with her talents.  She lived in fear of my father, people, putting herself out there, and never risked anything, thus never gaining anything.

I remember the day I called her to share the excitement and joy I had at having closed on our home.  We had found a wonderful piece of land, (5 acres), with a 12 acre lake at the back.  There was cleared land where the house was but just beyond that bare ground was a forest of trees of every kind imaginable.  It was a hardwood forest with cedars surrounding the bareness of the cleared land.  I had sat there looking out our large picture window view of the back yard with all the woods surrounding us.  A female turkey, with eight little chicks all following her in a straight line, crossed directly in my line of sight.  What a wonderful way to spend the first day in my new house!  That evening, a small herd of deer grazed in my back yard, nibbling the new shoots of grass that had sprung up.  I was surrounded by God’s beauty and wonder and I just wanted to share it with her.

I had forgotten that her glass was always half empty and filled with fear to the brim.  Before I was done talking to her, my joy had dissipated and I was sad that she could not share my joy.  She found all sorts of things to be fearful of.  The deer must not be made pets because they will attack me if I get too close.  The wildlife was fraught with all kinds of diseases and I must keep my distance.  On and on she had gone finding reasons to dump her fears on me.   How sad for her and for me.

It was about this time that I realized that she had, indeed, created a lot of fear in me that had kept me from being the person I was born to be. Without realizing it she had indoctrinated me in the evils of the world and the disasters that would descend upon me if I ventured out into the cruel world.

That is when I decided not to let fear dictate my actions, which would dam up my creative spirit.  My very soul would shrivel and die if I allowed that.  So, here I am today.  I look back to 2002 when I opened the doors to my boutique, The Purple Iris, and then to the day I closed the doors, 2003, July 17.   It had been a big lesson that had come through the school of hard knocks at the time.  However, I learned a lot about me and I learned a lot about business.  It was preparation for creating the Woman’s Center.  I had to learn that lesson in order to create a successful Women’s Center.

If you are not making mistakes, you are not doing anything.  Mistakes are inevitable in everything.  Perfection is wonderful to strive for, but impossible to achieve.  Remember, it is the journey, not the destination.  So, I say just do it!.  By that I mean go for your dreams but remember that preparation is essential to success.  The better prepared you are the more likely you are of succeeding.  Also remember there is no failure.  Just the act of doing something is success, for in that doing you are learning and learning is the key to success.  It may not come right away, but success will come eventually if we just keep trying.

I learned I am not good at details like bookkeeping and organization.  That is why this time, I make a very special effort to not be disorganized.  You see, each of us sees the world through different filters.  So, what works for one person probably won’t work for me.  My brain works differently.  I understand differently.  What I have discovered is that I am a visual person.  I am color oriented.  So, my files need to be color coordinated.  That means my file tabs have to be organized with color representing different catagories, so I can look for the blue tabs if I want this, or look for the yellow tabs if I want this.  Once inside the file, I can use the normal alphabetical filing system, but the category tabs need to be colored.  This type of filing system makes it easy for me to comprehend and so it is not so daunting.

Likewise I will be using a rather giant cork board in easy reach of my desk.  If I lay something down, even for a moment, it disappears on me.  I can tack that sucker up on my cork board and it doesn’t disappear.  Then, when I get around to filing it, it is there and ready for me to file in the appropriate place.  Everything needs to go up on the wall.  That is just how I am.  And, it keeps the clutter off my desk, which tends to pile up if I don’t use the cork board system.  I wish I was the type of person who would immediately go over to the file and place it correctly in its appropriate place.  I am not!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am scattered, doing many things at one time and I tend to procrastinate.  So, if it isn’t a priority right at that moment, it will be placed on the pile on my desk and will soon disappear as I add more to the pile.  So, the cork board is essential to my keeping things organized.  It’s not perfect, but it is better than what I have done in the past.  And that is progress.

So, you see, the failure of my boutique was not a failure after all.  What I learned were valuable lessons I would need down the road.  Yes, it was sad that it didn’t work.  But, to be honest, I was somewhat relieved that it closed.  I was not happy and the stress level was tremendous. It took me several years to straighten out the tax mess I created for myself.  That is not likely to happen again because I know where my weaknesses are and I have put things in place to compensate for that.

Am I afraid?  Yes!  I am!  However, fear is not going to stop me.  I want to do this.  I need to do this.  I am going into it with my eyes wide open.  I do not have to make money at it so I don’t have to be an actual business right now. I can donate my time and use my own money to pay for expenses.   When my daughter gets her masters degree and opens up her counseling service and we become partners, she has people she wants to bring into it that can do those things that are difficult for me.  That leaves me free to do the fun stuff I want to do.

So, don’t be afraid of making a mistake or failing.  It is only a dry run for later. They say practice makes perfect.  Practice, practice, practice, and learn, learn, learn.  If do you not give up and keep learning from your mistakes, eventually you’ll get it right.  And then watch you grab that brass ring!  Just remember that you must prepare so that when the opportunities arrive, you will be in a place to take advantage of them.  Don’t let fear defeat you.  Get up and dust yourself off and keep on truck’n.

Chris

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~ by womenstudycenter on January 14, 2011.

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