These are not my macarons. I don’t know whose macarons they are. I only know that this is one of the most horribly judgemental pictures I have ever seen. The gloriously glowing green ticks and the angry red crosses are representative of how I see almost everything I do… or, at least, how I think I should see everything I do. It’s either right or it’s wrong. I’ve succeeded or failed. I’ve pulled it off or I can never show my face in public, again. OK, I may be taking this a little too personally but this is due mainly to two factors.
1: I’m really desperate to try and make macarons but I’m intimidated by them and just too terrified of getting them wrong (now you see where I’m going with this) and
2: I’m finding myself floundering a bit, at the moment. Unable to try anything new, reach outside of my comfort zone or to move forward.
This all basically comes down to the absolute paralysing fear of getting s***t wrong. In fact, not even wrong, just not perfect. I know that I have a predisposition for perfectionism and I’m trying to embrace the revolutionary idea that sometimes ‘OK is good enough’ (Yeah, I know, crazy, right?!) so none of this is really news to me.
It’s also something that many people grapple with, on a daily basis. My question, then, is this (cue Carrie Bradshaw at laptop pose) “How do you know when you genuinely don’t want to do something or you’re just scared?” I suppose it depends on the ‘something’ but how often does our fear of the unknown stop us from moving forward, in our careers, our relationships and our lifestyles? Just ‘having a go’ isn’t good enough for me.
I do know, from experience, that things very rarely turn out as badly as I catastrophize (yes, its a word) them. I know that I’m not quite as inept and unable to adapt as I think I am. I know that people are generally far kinder and less judgemental than we give them credit for. So why is it that we still find uncertain outcomes, non-perfect solutions and possible ridicule so terrifying, and in turn, so detrimental to our well-being?
I have a friend who seems so fearless. If she wants to do something, she finds a way to do it. She appears so free and independent and un-worrying about it all. Where I see obstacles, she sees opportunity. Where I fear change, she embraces it. I can’t be jealous of this wonderful woman because she’s also so damn lovely. I can only watch, in awe, as she lives the fullest life of anyone I know.
There will always be the people who feel the fear and do it anyway, just as there will always be people who are too scared to make any positive changes in their life. I’d like to think that on a day-to-day basis, I fall somewhere between the two. After all, I have a lot of great things in my life and I’ve had to fight for a few of them, haggle for others and trust in fate for the remainder. That’s not easy in itself.
I suppose I just wish I could be a bit less scared, sometimes, but then I’m sure even my brave and fearless friend feels that way sometimes, too.
I bet she’d make a cracking macaron.
Author Bio – Philippa lives and works in the great city of Manchester. She spends her free time with her cat and her husband and, after twenty years of experiencing anxiety & depression, is slowly learning that life is OK. Find her at PrettyFlamingo.