Guarded by Internal Voices

internalI have it.  You have it.  We all have it.  The cacophony of internal self-doubt that freezes all potential.  Even as I write this my confidence rattles around on the inside, pinging off the walls of my thoughts, and echoes my insecurity that maybe my words, these words that I’m writing at this very moment, aren’t good enough.  In fact, before I publish each blog post I experience a disharmonious flood of doubts that no one will read it.  No one will care.  Even worse, that people will read it, and find not one shred of value in my words.  Especially when what I write is personal and guarded, like my last post, Let Go and Forgive.

For all the worry and stress this internal strife brings, I think it can drive a person to greater things.  It certainly does that for me.  And not just in my writing, but in my life as well.  Each time I decide to step out of my comfort zone, uncertainty fills my head.  It’s harsh.  It’s jarring.  It’s physically uncomfortable.  It reminds me that what I’m doing has risk.  Personal risk.

Thing is, taking a personal risk results in personal growth, even if the reward for the risk taken isn’t what was expected.  For example, after escaping a violent marriage I initially decided that I would never date again, let alone marry.  I threw myself into my children, my work, my college education, and while this was probably the best thing I could have ever done for myself at the time, a gaping hole remained in the center of it all.  To me, putting myself out there was not only a physical risk, but a personal risk to my emotional stability.

During that 6 years, I didn’t grow much.  I was nothing more than a hamster running its wheel.  Sure, I dated a couple guys, but I never let my guard down.  I kept them at arm’s length and miles away from my kids.  I convinced myself that I needed nothing else, until I met Todd.  He was the first man who gave me a reason to ignore the cacophony inside of me.  I took a risk, and now, after almost 18 years, my personal growth has been exponential, and I give much of the credit to him.

No matter what any of us endeavor to do, a voice inside tells us to be careful and guarded.  While this internal dialogue protects us, I think it’s healthy to take those risks because it’s the risks that we take which broaden the depths of who we are as individuals.  We grow into who we are meant to be.  And being who we are is never a bad thing.

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