To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have a lot of fears. And these fears hold me back every day–more than I’ve let myself realize, actually.
I constantly fear that I won’t be good enough. Or that I’ll fail to meet expectations. Anyone who’s met me can vouch for me when I say that, typically, people don’t expect much from me–and that’s how I like it! Or how I liked it at least.
Every day I would come to school in t-shirts or sweats or yoga pants or athletic wear of some kind and, most every day, I would show up with at least one homework assignment incomplete or one assessment unprepared for. And, yes, my personal issues of laziness and low self-confidence had something to do with those habits, but a much bigger driving force was the expectation I was creating for myself.
In some instances, life is INCREDIBLY easy when people don’t expect much from you. All I ever had to do to win compliments or momentarily impress people was show up in a cute outfit or complete an assignment fully and on time.
And I would think “hey, this rep is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”
But then it got hard.
Because do you know how much it sucks to be unreliable? To be the one weak link in the group and be aware that everyone else is just preparing to pick up your slack? Or for someone to come to school looking like they just rolled out of bed and for them to come up to you and say “I decided I’d dress like you today. We’re so ratchet!”
Do you know how much it sucks to not be able to take an advanced class in your favorite and best subject because you didn’t complete enough homework assignments or read enough of the required reading your junior year? How much it sucks to not have enough potential anymore?
Well all of that suckiness happened to me because I created this reputation for myself because I was scared. I was scared of the possible stress and failure that comes with high expectations, so I forced those around me, my teachers, my friends, my family, to expect automatic disappointment. And I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
And I’ve already decided that college is going to be different. No one is going to know anything about me so I’m going to prove myself immediately and then just keep raising my expectations higher and higher as I go.
I’m done selling myself short.
I’m done being afraid.
And writing these novels (for those of you who don’t know, I currently have two in the works) terrifies me. Because I’ve been writing them, thinking of how the publisher or how the audience will read them. Will they think the plots are boring? Confusing? Cliched? Does it look like I’m trying too hard? Is none of this working?
These questions run through my mind every day, but I’m now going to make a conscious effort to shut them out.
These stories are the most creative outlet I have right now and, if I do say so myself, I think they’re good. Really good. And once they’re done I’ll share them with the world.
I’m not afraid of rejection anymore–of being wrong. Because I am confident that I am right.