I’ve been thinking about the weight of success. How it can sometimes be easier to let yourself fail, let yourself not reach your full potential.
Because there’s something kind of terrifying if we succeed.
My kind of terrifying is that if you succeed once; if you do one amazing thing, then people will expect another amazing thing. And then another. And then another.
Not that I think there’s anything wrong with pushing myself. But other people’s expectations, whether or not they only exist in my head, terrify me.
It’s easier to sit and imagine all the great things you could do with your life. It’s easier to picture success than to actually go out and do it.
And what if we are good at something? What if we set ourselves up for failure to protect ourselves but actually end up doing brilliantly? Doing my teaching the other week, I had the expectation that it wouldn’t go well so that if it didn’t I wouldn’t be crushed. (Well, I would be crushed, but I could pretend not to be.)
But it didn’t fail. I didn’t fail. It went really, really well, and now I’m scared because I was good and do I now have to act upon this success? How do we know what successes to chase and what to leave behind, in a hazy memory of happiness and ‘ah, yes, back in the day I did this one thing…’
How do we know whether or not we’ll regret chasing or not chasing something?