A couple of days ago my daughter said something profoundly sad to me. She said "I'd rather not try something and get teased for not trying than to try and get teased for failing." At the time we were discussing athletics. But, this simple statement struck me so hard because I could identify with it so much. I've lived with fear all my life. Fear of what other people think of me. Fear of what God thinks of me. Fear of failure. Fear so paralyzing that instead of trying and failing, it's easier to just not try.
What I've realized is that both my daughters have inherited an introverted personality from me. I'm reading a great book on introversion (reading it for the second time) and I've been working with both of them to help them cope with being an introvert in an extroverted world. The first thing to teach them is there is nothing wrong with being introverted. We're only about 25% of the population. But, introverts are actually gifted in several ways extroverts are not. The world needs introverts. The problem is when introverts are made to feel defective by the extroverted minority- that can lead to neuroses- neuroses I was given and that I've had to work to overcome.
My hope is to get my girls to embrace their natural dispositions and to take advantage of them and avoid the issues I've had because I didn't know how to cope with mine.