I am willing to pay whatever the price may be, for being unabashedly me.
So… What’s Your Biggest Fear?
I was with a friend the other day, and as I was about to leave she asked me a simple question.
She looked me straight in the face, and asked me what I was afraid of.
She caught me a little off guard with that question, and I said to myself, “This bitch is trying to be my mamma.”
I couldn’t tell if I was bothered because of the nature of the question, or because I felt like maybe she could already see the answer.
I puffed my chest out like a proper macho-man and said, “I am not scared of anything!”
But then, I started to think
My heart sunk into my stomach as I came to the realization that I did have a fear. A huge fear.
One that I have trained myself to ignore, but a fear none the less.
But let’s back up for a second, I have a confession to make.
I am a total failure
I actually admit that proudly, and like to get it out of the way early.
I don’t usually lead with it, but hey, this is a blog, and not an HBO special, so I don’t have much time for character development.
I have failed repeatedly in my personal life, my professional career, and definitely in my political perspectives.
Quite frankly, I’m sure I will continue to make mistakes. Lots of them. I’ll continue to stumble, because this is the life I have chosen to live.
I will never apologize for being who I am or how I am, but this does not answer the question at hand.
I’m really good at faking it you see
I can twist you and bend you however I want.
The power of coercion is strong in this one. It has been since I was young.
Maybe that’s why I found the world of sales so comfortable. I felt right at home in a world where all that mattered was whether or not I made the sale.
It was easy for me
Living in a lie seemed normal. It seemed like everyone was doing it.
I’d do whatever needed to be done in order to get what I wanted. The problem was, I had no idea what I wanted.
Maybe that’s what led me to build a house of cards on top of all of those lies.
Maybe it’s that line of thinking that led me to believe that I could be happy in the life I was building, or maybe that is why I sat there that day with a gun in one hand and a phone in the other, wondering whether to pull the trigger or call for help.
Maybe that is why I am writing this article today. Maybe I was unwilling to admit it back then.
Maybe I was unwilling to admit that I was wrong, so I pushed forward. I pushed with no regard for the price that would one day have to be paid.
But that was then, and this is now.
That price has been paid.
In fact, I am still paying. It cost me 10 years, a wife, some strife, and almost my life.
It has pushed me to accept and reject many things about myself and the world around me.
It has forced me on this path that I am on, but this, again, does not answer the question at hand.
You want to know what I am afraid of now?
You want to know what I’m scared of today?
I fear that one day I will become successful, and the world will look at me as if I were a total joke.
I fear that one day I will stand at the top of this mountain I am climbing, and people will say that I lied, cheated, and stole to get here.
I fear that they will say that I hurt others in order to help myself.
I fear that the whole world will get to look at the person that I really am, and then decide to destroy me because they can no longer control me.
You see, I have faced all of my fears
I can honestly look you straight in the face and tell you that the only thing I fear anymore is finding out that I actually am a fraud.
That I am incapable of doing what I set out to do.
I am scared that at some point, I will have to turn back and admit defeat.
I am afraid to find out that the guy who “faked-it-til-he-made-it,” actually made it, and he won’t know that it is okay to stop pretending.
I am afraid that I won’t recognize success, and that I will keep on thirsting for more.
I am afraid that I will never find true happiness because of my inability to truly let people in.
I am afraid that I will be unable to realize that once you fake something for so long, it’s no longer fake, it’s just you.
I am afraid that one day it will all come crashing down again, but that this time I won’t be strong enough to handle it.
But even that doesn’t really scare me
Up until now, I’ve done this all before. I have been on this road, and I know where it leads.
I might not be able to see around the bend, but I have memorized the map.
I adjusted my approach in order to come around the corner just right: at just the right speed so as not to fly off the edge of the cliff.
I will make the turn, hammer the gas, and never look back.
This time is going to be different.
This time, I am becoming successful by being myself, and that is what scares me.
I am scared to be walking around this world naked – emotionally, and otherwise, completely unprotected, yet somehow entirely prepared to take the arrows and to face the consequences.
I am willing to pay whatever the price might be, for being unabashedly me.
There will be no shield, no barrier, no buffer between me and the real world.
No one to blame for my failures but myself…and that, my friends, is absolutely terrifying.
What is your biggest fear? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.