21 October 2011

fighting the fear of failure, part 1 - seeing the problem

I want to bury my head in the sand and not have to come up and face some of life's challenges. There is in me quite the fighter's spirit and I do not like to take everything just lying down, however in my work life I have had to deal with a lot of failure and starting over because of my lack of belief in myself and my abilities. Although I slaved away 4 years in the university I did not achieve what I had so longed for, a degree. Somehow I believed that very expensive piece of paper would validate me as a smart person, make me acceptable to a certain peer group and give my life value and meaning and in some sense there is truth to that, although not absolute. The problem really comes when you consider the converse side of that belief if I don't have that piece of paper I am not smart, I am not accepted and I have no value. Mind you let me be clear, I do not harbor such ill thinking toward others, no I save all that for myself.

As a result of this, I have not believed much for myself in the way of a career, I mean after all what am I? I can't looked at that lovely piece of paper framed on a wall and it tell me who I am. I worked so hard in college yet my dream of becoming an architect did not come true. I also had aspirations of ministry when I was younger, but by the time I came out of college I was doing good to still believe that I was saved AND I did not have formal training for ministry and remember according to my thinking I don't have a piece of paper that speaks on my behalf to tell others how amazing I am in some area. How am I to establish a firm foundation for a career when the currency of what those that are hiring deal in is something I lack?

So far I'm sure you can see a lot of the problem here, I've got a real problem with me and I had a bone to pick with God about my dream not coming true. After all I felt as though I had given so much up for the Kingdom. The school I went to was not my first choice but because of of the ministry I was involved in I was "encouraged" to attend the school I did. It turned out to be an excellent choice but I did not leave the way I wanted to. By the time I came out of school, I was barely hanging on to a relationship with God and was ready to give up on everything. I was fired for the first time and that also did not help my view of self, not only was I leaving school, I was leaving having been fired from a job. What good was I? How was I to do anything when now I had no idea who I was or what I did? Even writing this, it is hard to review that time in my life. It was so dark and I was incredibly scared and at that time I distinctly remember beginning to daily eat, sleep and breath the lie that to this day, if I am not careful I get entangled with: I am a failure!

I have thought and said this so many times that it became the truth to me. I did not perform up to the standard that I thought I should and instead of dealing with it, learning from it and moving on, I got stuck. I could no longer believe in myself and I became a serious doubter of God. After all why would all of this be happening if I were in "good standing" as it were with God, surely I must have done something wrong. I was caught in a serious performance trap. I thought that everything that I did, changed God's mind about me to one side or another. Some of that was improper teaching on who God is but MOST of it was and is simply deception, one of the biggest weapons employed by the enemy.

... to be continued

17 October 2011

storyteller (repost)

This was originally posted May 12, 2006 on my Snake Ai Musings blog that I specifically started for all things creative. I have been revisiting the question, "What is it that I really like to do and what are the things that I do that bring me the most joy?" I happened to read this in my pondering. I think I may be trying to tell myself something ;)

I always wanted to be a storyteller. I have always had ideas and images running through my mind but the challenge, the art the craft comes in being able to turn all of these ingredients into a delicious masterpiece ready to be ingested and enjoyed by all. We all talk, communicate and use words in everyday interactions but it takes someone special to bring those words to life in a way that can make you laugh, puzzle your mind, bring you to tears. The best stories and books to me are the ones that have you on a rollercoaster of emotion or put you right in the middle of the action. I wanted to be that special person that led people on these journeys. The tour guide that took you away from the routine of your everyday and let you wander into my imagination.

I don't know what I am going to do right now with all these desires. I have been writing a lot lately though, there are 10 works in progress. I am not sure if they will be poems or songs or develop into short stories. I have also returned to my love of books. Oddly enough the thing that has returned me to books was an anime. Of course, that was based on a graphic novel (manga). I may have mentioned it once or twice before - Read or Die. Yes, I know I am hopeless! :p

So many interests and so little time.

03 October 2011

a day in the life

Today is interesting. I am beyond tired and have an opportunity to be in bed but I am a bit keyed up. I have spent most of my summer preparing for this week at work, the biggest meeting we host all year, Holiday kick-off. So many people, so many moving parts and pieces, so much activity, so little crew to put this together, feeling behind the eight ball on just about every cue, but it's here and we've started the party. The team seems super excited and ready for this week and the selling season ahead, it is an exciting time. It's great to see the people I serve year-round but only see once a year and it's great to award them and really great to send them home :)

One of the best parts of this most interesting day has been the transition from how it started to how it has ended. This morning before 11, I had broken down twice crying, unfortunately sometimes it's how I deal with stress and this week can be very high stress. Keeping up with the whereabouts of 150+ people and people arriving on different days and dinners and guests lists and gifts and awards and computers and team members who all have a different role can be a little overwhelming and before lunch I was ready to run away. But all along the way, God was giving me things to smile about. First thing to counter the not so fun of the day was my coworker showing me a picture of her new nephew born just this morning, huge smile. Babies have that effect on me, I can't help it, I am excited about new life. Then about mid-day as i was putting myself back together I received a simple "I'm thinking about you and praying for you" text. Wow, right when I needed it most. After that point in the day, no matter what happened or how much I wanted to complain, I remembered and was glad.

At the function we had tonight, one of my business partners from out of town literally pulled me aside to remind me that I need to take care of myself and to say she was thinking about me. Now I felt really special and now I am really amped again to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be, not just so the bosses are happy but so that the team feels appreciated and knows we care about them and believe them to be special. I am happy about what I do, even though there are days I feel as though I am so lost in this maze of a corporate game at times. I am having that moment where I realize I do not understand it all, and what I do does not seem to make sense but I am okay with it. I am alive, and happy to be so.

This place has been a serious test for me, out of place since I arrived, but picked up and taught some things that have prepared me to help others in ways I never would have expected. Touching lives in ways I did not even know possible.  I am excited about the next 3 days and how I am going to serve this great team that I am a part of but also excited about what is growing inside me, the change, the season that is coming. Man this is going to be powerful. No matter what the past 4 years have looked like, it looks like something different right now because of what's growing in my spirit.

I am determined to see this victory for which I was named. The coming expansion of influence and coming peace have warmed my heart and eased my fear, ah I know my Beloved Lord is with me here and I receive His love. Yes, this is a snippet of a day in the life.