In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Inaugural speech, he said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I use this quote as a motivator when I feel like fleeing myself.

I had a dream the other night that I entered a writing contest and won. It was the last dream of the night; the one I was having when the alarm went off. I woke up with a smile on my face and a feeling like it really happened. After a few seconds, I remembered that I never entered a writing contest. I have been toying with the idea, and have even written some things for submission, but haven’t gone any further.

What is the hold up? Fear. Fear of rejection. Fear that it won’t be good enough. Fear of winning. Fear of winning? Isn’t that what I want? Yes, but fear of winning comes hand in hand with fear of the unknown and fear of change. It’s a lot to think about.

By not submitting anything, I still have fears – Fear of never knowing, fear of never trying. Those fears spark regret. When I was in 4th and 5th grade, I was in the chorus. I loved chorus and my music teacher picked me a couple of times for solos. I would have continued singing in 6th grade if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to try out for the chorus. All these same fears came up – rejection, not being good enough, etc. – so instead of facing them, I never tried out. Who knows where that would have lead me? The only good thing that came out of that situation was that it gave me a story to tell my kids. I have used it on my older daughter when she feared trying out and it motivated her to do it. She was successful. Why don’t I think I will be?

Franklin Roosevelt must have felt fear when running for office. He was a victim of polio and in a wheelchair. How would he “stand up” to the other candidates? Would he be rejected? Would he be good enough? Apparently, if he had any of those fears, he pushed through them and went on to be President for the next 12 years. What state would our country be in if he didn’t?

No, my writing will never change the country like FDR did. Like FDR, I cannot please everyone and I shouldn’t feel I have to. Later in Roosevelt’s speech he says, “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” If I can touch one person with my writing, by a moment of entertainment, a good laugh or something you can relate to, I am happy.

Therefore, I am putting it in writing. I will overcome this fear of rejection, inadequacy, and the unknown and submit my writing. Who knows where this will lead me!

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