Coming to the realization that I am a coward has been liberating to me. True, it is also crushing to know that cowardice is a trait that I have held onto for so many years of my life, but as I have found with so many other bad traits in my past, I can change.
The price of cowardice compounds with time, as does being courageous. I just never fully understood that the actions I took on a daily basis could be aligned with this particular trait.
Lack of confidence and understanding have stood in my way of being the true person I should be. I have been working on understanding and bettering myself, now, for over three years now. Who I am today is nowhere near who I used to be. Like peeling layers of an onion away, it seems that I am at the layer where I must address my cowardice.
Career wise, I get a D+ for being a coward. I have rarely gone above and beyond on the job, never volunteered for special projects, never went home and studied particular topics so that I could become a subject matter expert. I just kept my head down and avoided. That is the key, when you actively avoid interacting in the world, your issues only compound.
You are only aware of the true cost until it is too late. Your relationship falls apart, and your spouse leaves you. You let your technical skills languish, and you are let go. You don’t plan for the future, the future arrives and you are not ready. You can blame all these things on others, but in reality it is up to you to plan ahead and figure it out.
It is a matter of working on being courageous on a daily basis. Being mindful of what you are feeling, and self correcting. Finding coping mechanisms, and fending off cowardice on a moment by moment basis. This is the best and easiest path to take. One small step at a time. Then again, I still have a long way to go in not being a coward. I will make sure you update you in a later post on how it goes.