Someone very wise (okay, it was my therapist) once told me that the feeling of fear was never meant to signal to us that we should stop doing the thing that brought on the emotion. Rather, the feeling of fear is a signal to our souls that we are treading somewhere new or uncertain and we had better bulk up on the courage and proceed forward boldly. I am trying to remember those words as I embark on an incredibly exciting new opportunity.
On Tuesday, I will make my way to New Hampshire to begin my work as one of ten educators from across the country that make up the inaugural group of Heinemann Fellows. As a Heinemann Fellow, I will have the opportunity to learn from other educators and also take part in an action research project in my own classroom. The benefits to me and my students will be huge and I am excited to begin the journey that is ahead.
AND at the same time, I am terrified. Every day I wonder if I have what it takes to hold my own with the group of educators that I will be a part of. Yes, I am passionate about what I do. Yes, I work hard to do the best that I can for my students. But there are so many things that I am not. And because I am me (and come from a long line of self-doubters) I worry that what I have to offer will not be enough.
Really, what it is, is the fear. The fear makes me think that maybe I made the wrong choice. The fear makes me question, “What did I get myself into?” The fear makes me doubt that I will belong with this group of educators.
And that is when the wise words come back to me. “The feeling of fear was never meant to signal to us that we should stop doing the thing that brought on the emotion. Rather, the feeling of fear is a signal to our souls that we are treading somewhere new or uncertain and we had better bulk up on the courage and proceed forward boldly.”
Because what I know is this, if we never did the things that scared us, we would never grow. We would never experience new things. We would never know how much better we could be. And so we have to proceed forward boldIy in the face of the things that scare us. And so, I will move boldly toward this new opportunity and eagerly accept the challenges that come with it because I am thrilled by the chance that I have been given to learn and grow with other educators. I am giddy with excitement about the connections that I will be able to make with other teachers and school leaders. I have been craving these connections this past year and this opportunity will bring so many rich connections my way. So as I begin my work with this incredible group, I will wrap all of those things up and carry them with me. And I will proceed forward boldly.