Talk Africa: “Leadership Doubt Syndrome”
To be really good at something, you must practice it; day in day out dedicate yourself to embody this new change, or quality. I used to practice comparison. I learned the basics from my father, who would often point to other young children my age, and outline for me just how I had managed to fail, how far I was from their achievements, and how I needed to step my game up, otherwise I would be left behind.
I have carried those lessons into my young adulthood. Every morning I wake up; have a nice bowl of baked oatmeal, yum. No, seriously, yum. Then I get dressed for the day, and sit down to ‘write.’ What follows is a foxtrot from webpage to webpage of little known friends, well known acquaintances and their public display of success. When I finish the dance I am overwhelmed by shame, dissatisfaction, and failure. How can I even live when a friend from high school is working for the CIA; my ex is the executive director of an at-risk children’s program, and this guy I used to like is writing and teaching other people.
Yea, I used to get really worked up. I would look at my life as a career academic with almost two decades spent in classrooms, large and small, absorbing information someone else has learned and packaged for me. I felt useless, and often wondered what I was doing with my life. There were so many people who need help I wasn’t helping, so many stories to be written that I wasn’t writing, so many worlds to see that I wasn’t exploring. I felt, to my core that I wasn’t living life to the fullest and that one day, I would realize that I had truly fallen behind, and it would be too late to catch up. That is the anxiety associated with the process of becoming; a feeling that you might be on your way to something but feeling that you are currently nothing.
It took some time, but I finally realized that even if I feel unpolished, incomplete, and unfulfilled, there are others with jobs, who are traveling the world, married, with children who are going through similar, if not the same thing. The cruel joke of life is the feeling of limitations and reality of endless possibilities constantly tugging at each other. We all wake up everyday believing that all we can do is go to our job, school, or similar duties, spend our days in our self-prescribed bubbles, then go back to sleep, defeated by our boundaries. Then, out of the blue we are inspired by a quote, a song, a speech, a book to peek outside our box, to imagine what life would, or could be, like if we only took one step out of our own way. Then the anxiety returns, and the pressure begins to build.
read full post here