On Sunday I forced myself to read Barbara Sher’s chapter on Winning through timidation, or First Aid for Fear. It came right at the perfect time because I am certainly scared of anything you can think of. In this class I am scared to follow my passion because what if I make a mistake but more loudly- I do not feel worthy of being happy. Who wouldn’t want to be happy? I think this is what makes me abnormal. Luckily, this chapter, this class and the people I am surrounded by allow me the opportunity to feel this way but also move past it. The video we saw last time in class also helped to identify negative messages that I was receiving and acknowledge that I deserve to be happy.
MY favorite quote from this chapter is “You will never learn or accomplish or create anything of value if you cannot let yourself make a mistakes”
I want to stop being scared of making mistakes because life is too short and I want to create something of value.
I know that the message below is not perfectly constructed points but it is a first step and that is OKAY!
My message for girls in high school would be:
1. Set goals YOU would like to achieve- My mom’s goal for me in high school was not to get pregnant and graduate. At the end of high school, I was not pregnant but I did have a diploma in hand. I did not feel I had achieved anything that spectacular. So what? I graduated high school, big deal. But the reality is that graduation from high school when the percentage rate for senior graduation was not even 50 % was BIG accomplishment. Take pride in your successes no matter how small you may think they are.
2. Take advantage of opportunities given to YOU- When I was freshman in high school I had gym class with some stellar athletes. During the second semester, I was chosen to be a gym leader. A gym leader was the equivalent of a teaching assistant for a gym class and the title came with much prestige. I remember being told that I was chosen but I thought the teacher made a mistake and should have chosen the swim team captain for the junior varsity team. Why did my teacher choose me instead of him? What did she see in me that I did not see back then? I never felt worthy of that opportunity and did not maximize it either. I could have done much more in that role to develop some skills that would have been useful now.
3. Seek out the support YOU need and Go for what YOU want-
In high school I had a ton of friends but none that really knew what I was going through or knew the “real” me. You can get lost in that space. I had a biology partner named Juan and he was a know gangbanger in school but in BIO class he was just my partner (I was pretty naive). As the semester progressed, we kept talking back and forth and then one day he asked me out. I was in shock but my mom would never let me out let alone approve of me going out with a gangbanger. I timidly said no and played it off as if he was kidding. Well he stopped talking to me and within a month he was going out with another girl and before the school year was out she was pregnant. Now most normal people may read this story and think well you dodged a bullet there but not I. I looked at the young expecting mom with envious eyes asking myself repeatedly, why did you say no? That could have been you! Did I want kids? No. Did I like him very much? Probably not.
However, one thing I know is that even though I may not have been clear on what I wanted back then it all comes into focus eventually. Isn’t it better to know earlier than later and that is the reason why I want to speak to young girls. I would like to encourage them to start thinking early about what they want out of life and hopefully they will avoid some of the mistakes, tough lessons and struggles I faced growing up.