The Fragile Staircase – By Emily H.

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I posted this picture on the LIM359 Facebook page earlier today because I thought it provided a good perspective on tackling life’s challenges.  We so often reach the “I want to do it” step, but fail to attain the ability to say, “Yes, I did it!”  While it could be partially due to outside forces, I believe it’s most often caused by our own internal doubts about our abilities.  I’ve really had a chance to reflect on this recently as I’ve been studying to take the bar exam at the end of February.  (Despite how easy Elle Woods makes it seem in Legally Blonde, this is a monumentally intimidating task.)

My family and friends tell me I’ll be fine and that I’ll pass the exam with flying colors, but I continue to doubt my own ability.  I study for 8-10 hours a day and tell myself “I can do it.”  I’ve paid the $500 fee and been approved to sit for the exam, so I’ve committed to the fact that “I will do it.”  Yet, there are still many times when I find myself feeling like “I can’t do it.”  It’s as if I’m straddled between those three different steps, not fully committed to one or the other.

It’s frustrating to be sure, but I think maybe it’s also healthy.

If I was solely committed to and confident in my footing on the “I can do it step,” I might lose the drive to continue pushing myself.  I might start slacking, get stagnant, and next thing I know, I’d have inadvertently fallen back to a step not even pictured here, that of “I don’t even care about trying to do it.”  Sadly, I’d have allowed myself to tumble down the staircase before reaching the final stage of, “Yes, I did it!”

In contrast, while I’m straddling the 3 steps, I genuinely feel the fragile nature of the staircase.  I’m acutely aware of the fact that I could easily fall backwards.  Rather than comfortably resting on the “I can do it” step, I realize I have to work hard to push to that final rewarding step.  This is what drives me.

Rather than asking what step you’re on today (especially if you’re straddling multiple steps like I am), maybe it’s actually more important to be aware of the impact of your self-doubt so you’re able to defeat it and conquer that fragile staircase so you can eventually tell people, “Yes, I did it!”

Learn more about Emily here.

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