Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

My dad has been writing a book...for about 30 years now. At least. Ever since I was little, he's has been working on this mysterious project and every few years he'll announce he's made a breakthrough and his book is going to be amazing and then...nothing happens. The thing about my dad is, he's kind of genius but he's trapped by his own self criticism. He puts so much pressure on himself to be perfect, to write the perfect book, that it never happens because nothing he writes is ever good enough in his eyes.

I seemed to have inherited this little trait from dear old dad. The perfectionism gene is a hard one to shake and I've been struggling with it my whole life. I have lots of different interests but many of the projects I start are never completed because of my obsession with creating something perfect. I once turned an art project in 2 months late, knowing that I would recieve a zero as a grade. The zero was worth it though because I wasn't ready to turn it in until it was flawless-- kind of crazy, right? My art teacher definitely thought so.

A fortune teller told my mom when she was pregnant with me that one day I would be a famous author and live in Europe -- talk about pressure. It doesn't help that everything else she told my mom has come true. It may sound silly, but I'm afraid I can't live up to some probable cuckoo's prediction, so I've just avoided it.

This is a mindset that has brought down entire corporations: the Bank Crisis of the 1930s? Could have been avoided entirely. At the beginning of 1932 there was nothing actually wrong with banks but when anxious Americans withdrew all their money and began to hoard their cash, 9,000 banks failed within just a few months. Then, of course, Americans believed they had done the right thing by withdrawing their money before banks started closing their doors, not recognizing that they had actually been the cause of the crisis that they believed they had narrowly avoided.

Today I am making a promise to myself that I will not become a self-fulfilling prophecy; I will not fail because of fear of failing. The point is, I am writing this blog just for the fun of writing, not because I expect to become the next Elizabeth Gilbert (although people have always told me I look like Julia Roberts...). Some things may be serious, some funny, some entertaining and some just plain boring. Besides, it's not like anyone's actually reading it, right? Cough, cough that's your cue to click the "Follow" button if you're out there. Mom, you don't count.

The irony in this post? It took me forever to finish it.

Lesson Learned: "Just Do It." -- Nike

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