Since I first got into college it seems that I have been at a constant tug of war with my identity. My biggest struggle has always been accepting the advice I get from others so that I can grow into a successful adult all while trying to stay true to who I am. It took me up to the beginning of my junior year of college to realize that staying true to who you are is difficult because as young people transitioning into adulthood, we change every few years. And if you are like me, you are changing every few months.
I believe that although I have grown and learned a lot about myself as a person, I have also reverted back to this juvenile like state where I no longer think I can conquer the world. I was more fearless and valiant at 16 then I am now at 20. I found this fact both interesting and sad enough for me to want to explore why it is that I don’t think of myself as “good enough” any more. Now I’m not knocking my intelligence level or saying I don’t believe I can do anything. I mean that I find that as I get older I become more and more reluctant to dream big because failure is a taste that I’m not entirely sure I can handle.
Yes, I have failed at things before. No, I haven’t really failed at anything I have really wanted because I have never really gone for them.
As we grow older, we often times lose our ability to dream big because there is a part of us that harbors the fear that adult hood brings. That adult fear is what prevents a lot of us from achieving and trying the things we have always wanted to do. I am not sure why this is but I know for a fact that it is something very real that we all suffer from. Although adult fear is shitty thing to have, it is something that we can grow out of gradually. It is all a matter of asking yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid. I learned about this question while reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and I was surprised of how simple the question was and how un-simple the answer is.
I have a chronic discontent with myself because I feel I lack the discipline to be fearless. When I really think about it I have let fear keep me from doing a lot of the things I have wanted to do. It has kept me from auditioning for roles I have always wanted to dance. It has kept me from applying to certain jobs and internships, it has even prevented me from answering or sharing my thoughts in class because I’m scared to answer the question wrong or i’m scared someone will judge my thoughts. The horrible thing about this is that in my head I have already failed and because I have that mentality I do fail. Little do I realize that the worst thing those people can tell me is that i didn’t get the role. The worst thing that could happen in class is that I get the answer wrong, and who the hell cares what other people think?
Have you ever heard the term “if you don’t like something don’t just sit there and complain, change it? Well I am currently in the complaining stage but that is something that I want to change this summer. I want to emerge from being unhappy with myself. I want to try the things I have always wanted to try without fear. I want to go back to dancing, I want to say what I feel without out the fear of sounding stupid. God damn it I just want to be better than what I am right now!! People always ask me If I am ok, and yes I am ok but okay doesn’t mean that I am happy.
It is hard to be a leader, it is even harder to be the leader of your own life. However, there are tons of people who have been able to do that and do it very well. For example TIna Fey, she is a dominant female force in comedy. Sheryl Sandberg is a dominant female force in the business and tech industry.
My point is that I am in the business of reconstructing myself and that starts with being my own cheerleader because If you don’t support yourself then who else will?