I was texting with a friend last night, and I was struck by the realization that something vital had been left off of my new year’s resolution list. It turns out that among the career goals, I had inadvertently left off “Find Courage.”
I don’t actually think of myself as a timid or fearful person in most situations. I have, at certain points in my life, actually acted quite boldly: quitting my stable job to wander, meeting David Tennant and getting into The Rosie O’Donnell Show without tickets (long story) are situations that immediately come to mind. I’m not afraid to travel alone. I lived alone for more than a decade. So, I think of myself as a pretty capable, independent person who at times can be quite daring.
It wouldn’t make sense that the person I just described would actually fear making contact with people for the purpose of networking. It doesn’t make sense that the person I described would turn slightly green at the notion of calling someone who might be able to help my career. And yet, it’s true.
It’s not just that asking for help is hard for me—it is. But I continue to battle against the “I wouldn’t want to bother them” feeling even when someone offers. Someone offered to read a script of mine. I screwed up my courage and sent it (victory!). Then time went by, and I didn’t hear from them. I never followed up because, in my mind, I had decided that they must have hated it and didn’t know how to tell me. A year later I found out that wasn’t the case, but until that point I was absolutely convinced that it was true.
Fear of rejection? Insecurity about creative capabilities? Fear of being intrusive or pushy? Maybe all of those things are coming to the forefront these days because I’ve finally decided what I want, and I know I can’t do it on my own. I have to push past the blocks, or I might as well go back to my old life.
So, I hereby declare that on this day, the 15th of January 2014, I will add “Find Courage” to my new year’s resolution list because, really, there are enough obstacles to success in this world without me being one of them.