Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Afraid to Do

“The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 9 Assignment by Mary Jaksch

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

The interesting thing is, I think my fears and my over commitment go hand-in hand. Why do I over commit? For one thing, I'm a people pleaser. But I also have a bad habit of underestimating the amount of time and effort something will take. I seem to think I can accomplish things much fast than I can in reality. So, I'll take on a task thinking it won't take much time, only to discover that it does and therefore it remains on my to do list instead of being something I can quickly mark off the list

And, since I thought it wasn't going to take long, I committed to other equally underestimated projects so it's easy for the whole world to see that I end up with way too much on my plate, and an environment at home, at work, and in my car, that looks like a bomb blew up!

Now, I have gotten better at saying no. Especially in animal rescue. There was a time when I would go to an adoption event and come home with more animals than I took with me! But, I could still use some refining here. The one I mostly need to say "no" to now is myself.

Once again, focus comes into play. I think it's fine to have a long list of ideas waiting in the wings. Where I sometimes get myself into trouble is when I try to accomplish them simultaneously. When you spread yourself too thin, you end up not doing any project well, and abandon many of them half-finished.

I do this with random challenges on the internet. I have attempted to do the EzineArticles HAHD (one hundred articles in one hundred days) challenge twice. Both times I started late, but imagined that I could catch up and write 100 articles in 30 days, or 25 days.  I actually came close to making it this last go round. But, the fact is, I work full time and have a lot of other reponsiblities. So, trying to write that many articles in such a short amount of time probably wasn't very realistic.

Even now, I'm participating in Daegan Smith's 30 Day Journal Challenge as well as the #Trust30 Challenge, journaling daily on 750words.com, and maintaining my blog. When I first started doing this, I was approaching each project separately. I have now consolidated the four projects into one -- a concept I'd like to carry over into other areas of my life, which should help relieve my over-commitment.

But, back to fear... I'm afraid to let go and ask for help. I tell myself it's because I'm independent and just want to do things myself, but honestly, I think there is fear at the root... fear of losing control perhaps, or fear of admitting defeat or weakness of some sort because I can't do it on my own.  I honestly feel that there isn't much that I can't do if I set my mind to it.

I like to help others, but I don't like to be helped. I think there may be a fear of perceived obligation as well. I don't want to be indebted to anyone, so I'd rather do it myself.

Maybe this isn't the type of fear this prompt was supposed to bring out, but I'm not afraid of much. I think my fears are more subtle and psychological. There is no stark terror. There is nothing that is "too scary to write" about. It's just these little fears that lead to over-commitment, burn out, and abandonment of ideas.

As Emerson said, maybe it's simply a "loathing to disappoint."

I think over-commitment is a common malady in the lives of many Christians. We do want to help others. Often you see burn out in church volunteers because they are just trying to do too much and lose any sense of balance in their lives. God wants our service, but not like that. When we serve God, our church and our church family, it should be with love and joy, not with a sense of obligation and weariness.

In Psalms 100:2 we are told to "Serve the Lord with gladness."

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
~ 1st Corinthians 10:31

And now we discover a huge factor in taking on projects. Why do we take them on? Is it for our own satisfaction, our own success, our own glory? Or, do we do everything for the glory of God. What is our motivation. If our heart is in the right place, heaven and earth will rush forward to help us achieve our goals.

#Trust30 Day Nine

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your thoughts... please share.