There was a great read in the NY Times about ‘What You Learn in Your 40s‘, and one of the takeaways was that “Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.” This also reared its head in a conversation I had last night, a burgeoning new BFF (seriously, we are like sisters from another mother!) asked me how I always appeared so confident and put-together.
I was super surprised, because I was SURE everyone could see that I am terrified every. single. day. Turns out, I come across as a woman who has it together! I’ll pause for you to laugh. Maybe a chuckle imbued with some mirth.
The truth is, I’m terrified every single day. I’m terrified the decisions I make for my operation will result in my vision not coming to fruition. I’m terrified that I’m giving the wrong career advice to my
baby birds team. I’m terrified I’m not as smart as everyone appears to be on that conference call. I’m terrified every single day that I’m an impostor. I’m terrified that people don’t take me seriously because I work in social media. I’m terrified that the kids I taught in 3rd grade will forget that I told them they could be anything they want to be, *if* they put their mind to it. I’m terrified every single day, that I am not kind enough. That I’m not someone that people want to be around. That I put too much emphasis on superficial things. That I’m not helping the world enough. That I’m still the foster kid who moved from home to home with all of her possessions fitting into one black trash bag. And the list goes on and on…
I took a moment to let her question sink in. And one truth emerged. Every single morning I wake up, and put one foot in front of the other. When the pressure gets more intense, and believe me, the pressure increases every day, I put one foot in front of the other. When it feels like the water is boiling, and I’m the lobster, I put one foot in front of the other. When the pressures of my personal life gets to be too much, I put one foot in front of the other. When I feel like quitting, and want to break down in tears, I put one foot in front of the other. When I feel like I’m just not good enough, I put one foot in front of the other.
One of my favorite quotes (it’s even in my Hotmail signature!) is “The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” I said all of that to say, everyone is trying their best. Everyone has a struggle inside of them that they are trying to push through. Some people just make it look easier than others.