hidden talentsIt’s Day 4 of my 30 Day Writing Challenge, and my demons have arrived. I thought it might take them a little longer to butt in – but here they are already.

They are asking me whether what I’m writing is of any interest to anyone but myself – it’s so introspective, so personal, that surely it’s not going to resonate with anyone else.

I wrote the following passage several years ago. I think it describes days like this quite accurately:


“Some mornings I wake up in a panic. Gripped by fear. The tension almost makes my body go into spasm. I glance at the clock out of the corner of my eye, but I don’t really want to know the time. I don’t want to know it’s time to wake up.

As long as I’m asleep, I’m safe. As long as I’m asleep, I don’t have to do anything, don’t have to think. As long as I’m asleep, I don’t have to shine.

I used to think I was good at uncertainty. I wonder what’s different now? Now I’m alone, and I find myself unable to think of any scenarios. I’m in totally uncharted territory. I feel lost.

I say I’m alone. That’s not actually true. Paul is with me every step of the way. It’s just that I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I can manage, that I can make it on my own, after what feels like a lifetime of being told I’m not good enough.

“Not proactive”, one manager said. Another asked “what makes you think you can do this?” in a sarcastic, “because I don’t believe you can” kind of tone. That one especially hit home.

There are moments when I think maybe they’re right. Maybe I’m not proactive enough, maybe I can’t do this. Maybe, maybe…

Then a friend tells me how talented I am, how special I am, and how much I give to her and others, and I feel tearful and confused. What, exactly, do I give? I need to know.”

Hidden Talents

Sometimes, we need to dig deep to understand the role our demons play. We might also need to ask a good friend – or a good coach – to help us uncover our hidden talents. So often, others are able to recognise in us the gifts we don’t see ourselves.

And even though there may be days when our demons seem to be having their way, if we are prepared to keep showing up, then eventually we can make peace with them and acknowledge what makes us truly happy.

Please feel free to leave a comment below, on Facebook or on Twitter (#30DWC).

My 30 day challenge runs from Monday 11th June 2012 until Tuesday 10th July 2012. You can also follow my progress on Facebook and Twitter #30DWC.


2 thoughts on “Hidden Talents

  1. What a brave blog Julia. I think all of us have days when we blog and wonder why we are doing it! I think every time we step out of our comfort zone, fear raises it’s head. But every time we write, we chip away at that fear until it no longer troubles us.

  2. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you for your words of encouragement, Martine. You’re absolutely right, of course. I realised it was going to be a challenge before I started this – but I don’t think I quite appreciated how much I would doubt the validity of writing about what seems like “nothing”. I look forward to the day when that no longer troubles me! 🙂

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