Sunday, December 5, 2010

Magical Moment 304, "Protecting My Self from Fear"

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I have many fears. One of my worst fears, is that one day I will discover that I am not a talented musician. I don't possess the qualities necessary to become successful in this field, and all my hard work, commitment, time, and energy will have been wasted on a meaningless quest that never stood a chance in the first place.

This is why I take it so very hard when I feel someone has insulted me in this area. I once received a youtube comment to the effect of, "That piece should be played a little faster." I took this to mean, "You suck, you have no talent." Irrational, untrue, ridiculous! I am terrified that this is true however, and I'm very conscious of people's words, reactions, even glances that may imply its validity. 

I discovered this revelation by accident today and I related it to my other life phobias. In the Army, I was worried that I wouldn't be a strong enough leader, despite my tireless efforts to prove myself. And so with every criticism, no matter how large or small, I was petrified that they were confirming what I was afraid of. This can't be true! I won't let this be true. And so instead, YOU must have the problem. You are critical, unfair, or outright rude. So often, it was my perception based off an irrational fear that caused this thought process, and maybe not fact or reality.

Now sometimes people were this way. One particular case, I vented to a friend who gently asked, "Is he that way to everyone, or just you?" The honest answer was everyone. I was not being singled out as I had built it up in my head. And that helped me to let go and not take it so personal. 

In the end, we're all responsible for our own actions and reactions to the world, and the imperfect people within it. It can be difficult to weed out lies from truth. I do know I am a good musician, and if there are times when I doubt it, there are a few honest people I trust to tell me so. Not strangers on youtube or barely-there acquaintances. I must always have a sense of my "self," and know that "self." I mean really know it, or like a flimsy house of cards, it will come crashing down at the slightest puff of wind.


Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

Bravo! I honestly believe that confidence in our own talents are the key to making them as recognized as possible. Have you ever read the Secret? I found it to be a very interesting theory on how successful people view life as opposed to those who are not. Truly believing in your own talents can make or break any artist. I'm sure you've met some and you just want to shake them out of it. It's why some of the best talent is at a corner cafe and not on the billboards and playing for sold out crowds.

Hilary said...

It's difficult for someone like me to imagine someone like you as fearful about your sense of ability and talent. I see you as an incredibly talented and (in my mind, therefore) confident individual. I guess our inner fears just don't always show on the surface.

Eddie said...

Despite your internal fears, you are the bravest person I know. I love you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Travel Nurse (sorry, don't know your name), Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I certainly agree with you. And thanks for the tip about "Secret." I'll have to check it out. Take care!

Hilary, I work hard at keeping my fears at bay. Writing this blog has helped me with that. It's nice to hear that I seem confident. :) It's getting easier to be so. Thanks for reading, and for the comment.

Love you too Eddie.

Anonymous said...

I knew you had talent, poise, and confidence at the age of 6 sitting on my piano bench. You were a delight then, and you still are. You can go as far as you desire in your musical career, and you are incredibly blessed to have such a supportive husband.

Dawn said...

Wonderful post and good reminder(s)!!!
I LOVE that quote....I need to read it every single day.
Hugs to you....have a wonderful new week!!!!!

Paul C said...

A meaningful quote and reflection. I am reminded of someone else who wrote about being in control of your thoughts and feelings; don't let anyone else determine them on any given day.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Anita, thank you. And YOU are one of the few people I trust to tell me honestly! :) Of course, where would I be without your steady patience and talent in the first place. You're right about Eddie, I'm very blessed. Thank you for your kind support always and I pray you're doing well. Merry Christmas!

Dawn, that quote really struck me. I think I need to read it every day too. If only I could remember it on my own! Have a wonderful week as well!

Paul, it seems so much easier said than done, doesn't it? Thank you for your comment. Take care.