Checking boxes continued: playing small

Checking boxes kept me right where I was. Trapped in those boxes. I remember a time when I told my coach to not start me… that another player deserved it. And at that moment, I genuinely believed it. It’s not that I want to see other people win that bad. It’s me worried about falling short of expectations, of my projected potential. Checking boxes means I’m doing the exact assignment I was asked to do. I think that is why I grew to appreciate school so much. I was told what to do and how to do it… then was praised for doing just that. The education field became my comfort zone… I’d receive constructive criticism and constant validation. So much so that I utilized the certainty and comfort of finding space in the education field, my hideout… a haven. Here I hid cozily, from my wildest dreams and imaginations. I’ve devoted so much of my life to this education field – first as a student, now as a teacher—that I’ve developed a resentment for it sucking the exhilaration, the imagination out of me. It’s not even education’s fault. It’s my own, for playing small. Fearing my own greatness.

“Self-sabotage is not a way we hurt ourselves; it’s a way we try to protect ourselves.”

-Brianna Wiest

All this time I’ve been holding myself back so I wouldn’t fail, I wouldn’t let anyone down. Only to realize, I’ve disappointed me.

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