I've wrestled with the butterflies. I've worked with that cold pit in my stomach right that I get right before I do something risky, something that might not work - the feeling I got before giving a book I wrote to my grandparents for Christmas, the feeling I got on opening night of the Pie Car. I recognize that feeling, I know what it is, and mostly - I don't let it stop me. I've trained myself to use that feeling as a compass, trained myself to think of that feeling as a good sign, a clue that I'm doing something worthwhile.
That fear is for only one kind of failure, though. There are many more, many more fears that I have yet to tame.
Like the fear of letting people down - that's one that I'm right smack dab in the middle of right now.
This is the fear that I'm in over my head, that I overestimated my strength, that I gave my word to people I trust and now I might have to let them down, might have to tell them that I made a mistake, might have to ask for help. It's hard for me, I'm not good at admitting when I made a mistake. My impulse is to just work harder and fix it. I don't think that's always possible, though. Sometimes maybe the only thing to do is fess up, ask for forgiveness, and ask for help.
Like I said, I'm right in the middle of this new fear monster. I don't know how it's all going to work accept that probably everything will be okay. That seems to be how it mostly goes. That doesn't make this moment a lot easier, though.
I don't have a lot sage insights on this one, except maybe this: there seem to be a wild jungle of monsters and fears and crazy human emotions standing between us and doing work that matters, work that we love, work that makes a contribution.
Navigating that jungle might be the single most difficult thing we do everyday.
And guiding others through that jungle with us - that might be to most important thing we ever do.