I am in the process of working out what it is that I want from my life. It’s a long process, and I’m right at the start, but I’ve made an observation that might be useful: I am afraid of defining and forming myself through the choices I make.
Of course, that’s an illogical fear – I am going to be defined and formed by the choices I make whether I want to or not. So I suppose what I’m really afraid of is taking responsibility for the choices I make – becoming the man I choose to be. Accepting at the outset that I might choose wrong, and choosing anyway.
There is immense risk in making conscious life choices. At least it seems so to me. I could carry on living in my own comfort zone, being dissatisfied with some areas of my life and blaming circumstance or other people – pretty much not accepting responsibility for my own life.
But if I make conscious choices about the life I live, then there’s no-one else to blame. It’s all on me. If I screw it up, it’s my fault. Equally terrifying, if I succeed, it’s down to me too.
And I realise through the writing down of all of this that failing to take responsibility for my own choices (which include choosing not to choose) is in itself a choice that defines who I am.
So I’m stuck in a bit of a corner. Either I do nothing, remain dissatisfied and accept (because I understand it now) that I chose that, or I choose to become the man I want to be, take the associated risks and accept that I might fall flat on my face.
Which will I choose? To me it seems to all come down to courage. Am I the coward who is so afraid to fail that I won’t try? Or do I have the courage to accept possible failure and thereby also embrace the possiblity of success?
I hope courage wins. I really, really do. But I am afraid.