A popular post from October 2009
By Julie Wright
Madeleine L'Engle quoted someone who'd said her success hadn't affected her, and then said, "Hasn't it? Of course it has. It's made me free to go out and meet people without tangling in the pride which is an inevitable part of the sense of failure."
I get tangled in pride every now and again, but not the way you'd imagine. I don't sit there thinking of how amazing I am, or better than anyone else I am, simply because I have a few books published. My pride entangles me when I'm not accomplishing what I want--when I am failing.
I see other people accomplishing, achieving, reaching, and feel that inevitable bruising of pride--that sense of failure because I am mired in my own mediocrity. I don't feel like I'm moving forward.
Things sit too long, freezing under me and I start spinning my wheels on the ice; I sometimes take a step or two back instead of forward. Those steps back affect me a great deal more than any success. I withdraw into myself--feeling less worthy. I find myself unable to cheer anyone else on their journey because I am so centered on my own self--which makes me selfish.
This is what happens when I spin my wheels. I become selfish.
The only way to end the cycle is to find some traction, create enough friction, and start moving again. This doesn't always mean getting the agent, the contract, the movie deal. Sometimes finding traction just means to submit another manuscript, to write another word, to DO something--anything that moves you forward.
When moving forward, I find myself better able to step *outside* myself and encourage others to reach for their dreams as well. It allows me to be a better friend, a better mentor--a better person. When I feel like I am succeeding in even the smallest measure, that measure allows me to dream bigger, climb higher, take another step forward--which leads to another step . . . which leads . . .