Fear, competence, and being grown-up
When I first saw the letter inside its envelope, I thought it was junk mail. I almost didn’t open it. When I read the letter, I had a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach and a flash of fear that our business would be destroyed by a lawsuit. Reason quickly won out and I was able to much more rationally see that the request from Covey that we stop using their trademarked phrase in the comic was a request with which we could easily comply. We made our decision and are happy with the result. The decision we made isn’t what I want to discuss here. You see, this is not the first time that I’ve received a piece of news and been instantly terrified that our business is going to fall apart. It isn’t the fifth or tenth or twentieth time either. I can’t tell what the number on this event is, because it happens so often. I’ve come to regard that momentary sick sensation as a normal part of running our own business. I suspect that it is also a result of our usual strategy of diving in and learning as we go.
I spent quite a long time feeling like a fraud. I used to be afraid that I’d mishandled the accounting and the IRS would swoop in to take away everything. I feared that the authors, artists, and business partners would see through our facade of competence. I worried that teachers or other parents would see clearly all my failings as a parent. I feared each of these things a lot, but over the years they didn’t happen and the fears faded. I started to believe that we might actually have some of the competence that we presented to the world.
I know lots of adults who say that they don’t feel like grown-ups. I feel that too sometimes. There are days when I look around and wonder how on earth I ended up with four kids, a business, and a house. Most of the time I am very comfortable with my grown-up status. I consistently see myself getting necessary things done even though I don’t want to do them. In our house this functions as the definition of a grown-up. I wish I could confer upon others the feeling of being grown up. But then I remember the quote from Bujold which paraphrases to: “Being grown-up is not a prize they give you for being a good child. It is something you have to take for yourself.”
So I wonder, how I can take my self-awarded grown-up status and my growing belief in my own competence and apply it so that I don’t have to go through those moments of believing that everything is going to fall apart because I am faced with a single adverse event. The losing my stomach feeling of roller coasters is not something I enjoy encountering in my kitchen during the middle of my work day.
Mirrored from onecobble.com.