**** Warning - self-indulgent, reflective post that I had to get out of my head *****
I'm a perfectionist. If I can't do something well, I just don't do it.
Academically I've always done quite well. At school I was always in the top few in the class. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard but it wasn't a real struggle. When I went to uni I failed a subject in my first year - I was mortified. Failure didn't happen to me!!! The truth was I was .. *ahem* too preoccupied with other things in my life and arrogant enough to think that I didn't need to study for the exam lol. I even went to the lecturer convinced that he'd made a mistake - I couldn't fail! He hadn't and I did. It was the only time, I made sure of that!
I'm good at my main chosen profession of programming, and also good at my 2nd profession of teaching adults. I'm accustomed to doing well at things.
Physically though it's an entirely different story. I'm crap at sports - can't run, can't catch, can't throw. (I sound like Joe the cameraman!). So now that I have a choice I just don't do those things. I don't put myself in a position where I can fail or look incompetent. I had too many years of being the last kid picked on the sporting team :( Now at family events, when everyone else is out playing cricket or basketball, I'll be the one you see on the sidelines volunteering to look after the younger kids or washing up in the kitchen. It doesn't stop me from wishing I wasn't so self-conscious. I'd like to play sometimes but I can't get over the feeling of everyone watching and laughing.
Creatively it's the same. As much as I'd love to draw or paint or sing, I just can't so I don't. It's only in the last few months that I've given myself "permission" to sketch things - no matter how bad it looks. And you know what, I enjoy it! It's in my private journal, not to see the light of day, but hey, it's a start.
Why am I writing this? I have a dream of something creative that I want to do, but I'm scared of starting. I've only told one person, and she'll be asking me very soon how I'm getting on with it, but the truth is, I'm scared. I have all of the excuses under the sun - too busy, too tired, child is too needy.. Really though, it's hard to take that first step - what if I'm not as good as I think I will be? Can I cope with the failure? How do I get started?