I know that all I need is who I am in order to make it through this maze of life. I can feel this statement as true in the bottom of my soul. It's just that it becomes muddied up by all of the other things I feel I need in order to compete with others, or to get ahead, or to win in some nameless, faceless competition. I really only need myself, and if I develop who I am to the best of my ability, I have the chance to do anything at all.
I don't know why we end up limiting ourselves. So much of what we need to be successful lies dormant inside of us, and if we will get past the "I can'ts" to the "Why not's?" we will be home free. I was missing out on my own confidence until about eighteen months ago, when I began to move past my lifelong fear of making a mistake. Until we are willing to accept that we can't be perfect, it's very challenging to try anything new.
Failure is linked to success. You don't get one without the other. And persistence is a necessary ingredient to the recipe for getting where you want to go. I always had the dream portion, but the confidence that I could try for it was slow to develop. I would like to see the confidence level higher for my kids when they launch into adulthood. I was exceptionally good at faking my way through, but the unacknowledged anxiety I felt deep inside was crippling me and holding me back.
What we need to move forward exists inside of us, if we can dig our way through the layers of falsehoods we've told ourselves or been told by others in order to find it. We are our own answer. Who I am is different from who you are, and where the difference is lies our greatest strengths.
Our individual natures sets us apart from each other, and in theory, is what should mean we aren't competing directly with each other. Particularly as creatives, because my ideas will never be the same as your ideas, and as I recently told the Grade Three's when they were preparing to write their Provincial Achievement Test, "Don't steal someone else's idea because you think it's better than yours. You are the only one who can tell your story. Your idea holds value to you, and only to you."
I didn't understand this idea before. I was always so concerned about what other people were doing, and worrying that I was being left behind. But now I know that I need to work on developing who I am, my own unique brand of personality, because that will be my greatest strength as a writer, and have a delicious by-product of helping me to enjoy life to its fullest. All I need is who I am. I want to stop looking to the left and to the right, and simply look inside to see what I need to do there in order to succeed.