Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Confidence ... or what?

I'm still thinking about the columnist, V, and the way he/she uses humor to avoid the heart of the matter: why he/she won't put time and attention into the project that keeps calling him/her, that he/she obsesses over.

Afraid of success? I asked him. Which is when he went on and on about not being afraid of failure.

I liked V so much, found him/her funny and bright--but worried, beneath it all, that life is slipping him/her by and there's still that project, calling for attention, being ignored. And how many more years will pass with the project still on the shelf? There but not there.

Is confidence the problem? Maybe V has utter confidence in his/her column-writing abilities but this other thing, the screenplay, the novel...what if? What if he/she worked on it, and it stunk?

In my current Inner Game class at UCI, I have a student I shall call Sue. During introductions the first night, she said she was "just a mom." She felt everyone else was so beyond her.

At the start of the second class, she said she almost didn't return, so inadequate she felt.

Tonight, at the break, she left. Her spot was glaringly empty.

After class, another student, Sara, and I walked out together. She said she had really liked what Sue had written that first night and that it was too bad Sue felt so awful about where she perceived herself to be, writing-wise.

We so get in our own way. We all do it. What a waste.

I hope Sue returns next week.


Anonymous said...

As a wise person once shared with me at a point when I wasn't making any headway on an issue, "If you want to progress, you have to get you out of the way." So true. Despite our futile attempts to uncover what's stopping us from succeeding, often as not the answer is right under our nose...literally.

Good to see you blogging! ;-)


furiousmuse said...

you know very well that i hope "Sue" returns. i'd like to say we do ourselves a great disservice when we compare ourselves to other writers, but i think it can be a catalyst for growth, too. the trouble lies in perception: they are better that i am. i promise you, i didn't get here without lots of work, and i've got further to go. i hope she gives herself half the chance i did.

Anonymous said...

Barbara, this is another great blog. It is a very dangerous thing to compare yourself to other writers especially when it is early in the journey. Maybe it's better to have blinders on sometimes, at least until one is rooted in the daily practice of the work. We all have unique stories to tell regardless of our curent ability to tell them and hopefully your student will recognize that and be back in class next week.
It is good to have these daily pearls of wisdom from you, Barbara. Please keep on blogging.
D. Powell

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,
Sorry to hear that "Sue" left the class. It makes me sad that she gave up already.
I enjoyed reading your blog entry...I love what you wrote about regrets. After losing both of my parents recently, I too saw the regret in their lives. Glad to hear that someone else has taken that message and applied it so successfully into their own life. This is why I keep writing. From my own experience and knowledge, I know that life is short. It is so important to make the most of your dreams whatever they may be and not get caught up in all of the externals that surround us. Your are so right about many of these subjects. I really do enjoy listening to your viewpoint and applying this little bits of wisdom into my own life.

Thank you for your continual inspiration....