This I Believe

Samuel - Lexington, South Carolina
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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This I Believe

As I sit at my computer, I am overwhelmed with the task of trying to figure out something that I believe in and how best to describe it. I come up with possibilities, strike them all down, and grow frustrated with myself for being so uninspired. I have rejected every idea as too sappy, too negative, too stupid, too boring, too personal. Right now I would like nothing more than to abandon this project and go do something fun instead. But I am still here, typing away, and in doing so I finally found something that I can say I truly believe in. What I believe in is the reason that I am still writing. I believe in perseverance and the mantra “Just do it.”

In short, no matter how hard a task is or how reluctant I am to attempt it, once I get committed to something I stop complaining and try to do my best. However, just because I believe this does not make the challenge any easier or less stressful. I am fine with writing essays until I actually have to express myself. I like track meets until the coach has the audacity to actually make me run.

When it comes time to fulfill my responsibilities, anxiety and nerves always take over. I tend to lose focus on the task at hand, and my imagination creates doomsday scenarios by the dozen. “How can this go wrong?” soon becomes “This will go wrong.” In track meets, I feel sick at the starting line. I look into the near future and see only the bad. No matter how hard I practice, part of me expects failure. I do not know where those feelings come from, but I do know how real they are. If that part takes over, I have already lost. Luckily, I have found a way that always works for me. When these negative views start to take over, I silence them with the single thought “Just shut up and run.” I have also found that, for me, this single utterance can work wonders in many situations.

The thing that keeps me going is knowing that I have no other choice. I have responsibilities to others that I cannot go back on. I do not want to be the person held accountable for a loss. While this added pressure adds to my stress, it also gives me the courage I need to go through with the uncomfortable task.

I have learned much about myself when I am put under pressure to perform. I have learned that I succeed when I prepare for something fully but do not over think the task at hand. I have learned to trust myself and my abilities. I know what is expected of me and I also know what I am capable of. I believe I perform best when I do not think but instead do.