I’m afraid of not being good at things. If you’ve read some of my previous posts or know me personally, you’ve probably picked up on this.

I am terrified of being average.

So terrified, in fact, that being bad at something is simply not an option. Just the thought of being bad at something, anything, throws me into this frenzy of fear and inadequacy. I don’t know what it is that makes me want to push, push, push, but it drives me crazy that I can’t allow myself to just be.

If I do an assignment, it has to be perfect; if I write an exam, I better be getting a good grade; if I start a new activity like theatre, music or dance then I need to be above average.

If I’m not, I feel as if I’m letting myself down and letting the person who’s teaching me, or helping me learn, that skill down.

I know this isn’t a healthy cycle at all. In fact, it’s quite toxic when you really think about it.

Recently, when I was sharing with my theatre group, I put it in this way: Imagine you’re running to catch a train. You keep running and running and running. The train never stops and neither do you. If you slow down for one second, if you trip, or if you fall or even if you just miss a beat, getting on that train gets harder than before. If you’re always tripping, falling, slowing down and missing beats, you’ll find that the train slips farther and farther until at one point, you can’t even see it anymore.

I recognize that this is not a healthy way to see things, that it’s not important to be good at everything. In fact, being bad at some things will teach me more than being good at them ever will.

I just need to actively make an effort to stop making an effort when I clearly don’t want to and when it only burdens me, rather than rewarding me.

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