Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fear and Blame

I've been working on follow through and mini-goals and feeling really good about it all. Yesterday, I tackled a 45 minute interval run making it possible for me to get in 5 miles without being completely bored on the dreadmill (I saw that term on and 'stole' it). Today, I created, printed, and mailed letters to 5 potential (big) donors for Team In Training and started 5 more. I also have a pretty good email template created that I can easily personalize and send with just a few clicks. I've never been one to follow through on goals that *scare me*. Usually, once things become "real" I lose the drive and allow fear to settle in to my psyche. I am trying to get past this hurdle and so far, I'm feeling confident.

I was chatting on a discussion board with a cyber-friend when the topic of Fear of Success came up. Most people automatically assume that people have a fear of failure...they don't try things because they are afraid that they may prove themselves incapable or unworthy if they fail to achieve their goal. But, I had a councilor ask me once if it ever crossed my mind that I have a fear of success. Sounds weird, huh?  Who, in their right mind, would be afraid of success?

It's a hard thing for me to explain but I can see where, in some instances, this may be true. After all, the more I can accomplish, the more I will expect of myself (or others will expect of me), perhaps this is a side-effect of perfectionism...the need to constantly prove my self worth. It was easier to be the wallflower, the quiet one, the "good" child, the perfect student. If I dared to excel too much it would be overwhelming because I would have to do something more, I couldn't just move through life like I was on a lazy river.  And ultimately, I would have to face my insecurities. 

What ever forces have combined to get me to the point in my life that I am ready to conquer my fears and insecurities I am grateful. I certainly wouldn't call myself a Pollyanna by any stretch of the imagination, but whether good times or bad were had, lessons have been learned that have helped me get to this place in my life. A place I am very happy to occupy.

I really think that, for me, the trials and tribulations life has thrown in my direction have shaped me into the person I am today. I've said before that I don't want to die with regrets and so I have to accept these things from my past and treat them as a source of strength. Sure, I could blame outside circumstances for the disappointments I have had. I could blame an alcoholic father, an enabling mother, the fact that we had to move every 3-4 years because my dad was in the Air Force for all kinds of things. And I did that for a while...I became anorexic when I was 16 years old and thought that the only thing I had control over was my body and the food I ate. I thought I was powerful.

It wasn't until much later that I realized that the real power was in taking control of my life as a whole. Instead of "showing them" by exhibiting negative behaviors I could do just the opposite. I could empower myself to become healthy, and happy. To not let anyone else's behavior control me (as least as much as I could) and rob me of what everyone is entitled to, freewill. See, when we grab that drink or cigarette or cookie because we just can't take it anymore, we've been let down or disappointed, yelled at or had the rug pulled out from under us, we are actually letting that outside force control our behavior and letting someone else choose for us. We are saying, "Man, no matter what I think or believe I cannot stop myself from _________. So-and-so's words (or behavior) are forcing me to (have another drink, eat a quart of ice cream, hurt myself." Why? Why do we willingly allow someone else to be our puppet-master?

I'm sure most of us are fairly educated, rational people. We can take care of ourselves, find our way around, balance a checkbook, and take care of daily tasks. So why can't we take our lives back? Why are we so willing to do the very thing(s) we know is unhealthy because someone hurt our feelings? Do we think that by harming ourselves we will change THEM...or that we are proving some kind of point by being weak? (I do understand that some people endure abuses that severely affect their emotional well-being and who do need professional help to attempt to overcome these issues...I am speaking about my own personal level of dysfunction). I don't want to hand over that kind of control any more. Believe me, it's not my mom's fault if I go to the cupboard right now and eat half a box of Cheezits. I KNOW they aren't good for me. I KNOW they will take me over my desired calorie count for the day. I KNOW they are made with ingredients that I don't want to put in my body. So, if I get up and eat them I only have MYSELF to blame.

Now that I have this clarity of mind and have recognized my style of "bail out" it becomes easier for me to move forward, consciously.  It's starting out to be a very good year. I feel empowered now and I am ready for this ride.  

5 miles in 45 minutes

Time  Speed  Incline
0-5       6.0    .5%
5-10     6.5    .5%
10-15   7.0    .5%
15-20   7.5    .5%
20-25   6.0    .5%
25-30   6.5    .5%
30-35   7.0    .5%
35-40   7.5    .5%
40-42   6.5    .5%
42-45   7.0    .5%

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