So, I’ve always been someone who liked to define success on her own terms. To learn on my own, to read up on topics and take the parts I need, to scorn anything that required me to meet anyone else’s standards.
Lately, however, I have realized that this attitude, while it serves me well in self-esteem and self-definition, is not exactly a growth mentality.
If I never allow myself to be evaluated by objective* criteria, how am I going to grow? How I am going to get any better?
Last week I happened on an online writing course being offered by the authors of a writing book I like. My first thought was ‘Nah, I already know how to write.” And normally that’s where I’d stop. This time I picked up on the fear and arrogance behind that statement. How arrogant of me to operate as if I already know all there is to know about writing. And how fearful of me not to want to be evaluated on my writing. Sure the criteria might not be objective, but the evaluation might be helpful.
I had a similar string of thoughts about Tae Kwon Do recently, too. Not that I know everything about that, I know hardly anything, but I am considering joining a class with The Boy in the fall (he’s already in a kids’ class, this would be the regular one) and I was immediately struck with the fear of being tested for my belts.
That’s right, folks, afraid of being tested for a class I haven’t started yet. Healthy, hey?
I’m not sure how to get past this but I am going to assume that babysteps is the way to go. I am going to take an online writing course, and then talk to some people about TKD.
Can you innoculate yourself against this sort of fear by exposing yourself to small fearful things at first and then building over time?
*I am never sure when criteria is ‘objective’ that’s part of the problem. I like to protect myself from unnecessary subjective evaluations when possible.