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.
I can recommend a couple of books on fear. Read these a few years back, but both had good stuff.
Love Is Letting Go of Fear
The Fear Book: Facing Fear Once and for All.
Thanks Mike. Those are two I haven't read. I'll check them out.
I've had to face a lot of my issue is genetic. My body has a very quick fear trigger.
Speaking of fear triggers, did you see the dancing ninja video I posted on Facebook? I'm surprised he didn't get punched out?
Brian, I like the way you're teaching your girls. Why is it that everything that comes naturally is viewed so negatively? Have you ever thought about that? Left handed children, for instance, being forced to be like "everybody else" and become "right handed."
Our differences are gifts! :) --rhonda
Oh--and just want to add: Without introverts would we have ever had philosophers? :) --rhonda
Mike, I missed the ninja video.
@Rhonda- thanks for the encouragement. Being an introvert, I was made to feel weird, "backwards" and was teased about it. That led to the neuroses that I have. I'm convinced I was born into the wrong family. I'll have a lot more to say about this. In fact, I'm going to put together a class I'm going to teach my girls on the "introvert advantage". They'll hate it. But, maybe one day, it'll help them.
Here it is: Dancing Ninja Assassin Prank.
LOL. That kid at the end is hilarious.
Hey Brian - thanks for posting this - don't know why, but it stirred something up in me, too. I've struggled, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, with an anxiety/panic disorder for almost 40 years. eg: I just started physical rehab and every time I have to talk myself into going and almost have a panic attack beforehand. Drives me crazy - just have to push through. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I'll look up the books listed above. Thanks!
Catherine, I'm too familiar with panic attacks. "From Panic to Power" by Lucinda Bassett really helped me. She's got a whole empire built around helping people and I think a lot of it is a scam, including high pressure sales tactics. BUT, this book was really good and helped me a lot.
Yeah, that kid was cute.
Fear does suck Brian. I think that many extroverts struggle with some of those fears that you mention.. and of course they had a few of their own. :)
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