I hate testing week. So. Much.
As I sat in a room staring at kids, tapping my fingers to my temples to keep my brain from numbing, I thought about when my next 15-minute mark was up. Every 15 minutes, I had to walk around to wake up the sleepers.
It's really a self-indulgent walk. I need to get my steps in so my Fitbit doesn't buzz angrily at my inaction, and the law says, "Wake them up as many times as it takes." But we all know they're not going to budge.
Why would a kid sleep through an entire test, might you ask?
Long answer: They didn't get any sleep last night, they don't care about the test, they're too cool for school (literally).
Short answer: FEAR.
It's much easier to say you didn't want to do something than it is to own up to the fact you can't.
I've found that there are a lot of nicer or simply more dramatic names for behavior out there, but generally they all bleed the same.
If you were to hack to the core of those manifesting behaviors, you would see the bright red trickle of fear, the same true colors you try to hide everyday, too.
In my life, fear usually finds shelter under one of these umbrellas.
My anger is most often rooted in hunger (hangry, anyone?), but it can also frequently be found when something seems to be wasting my time. I really do not like inefficiency. I mean, I pack my lunch while my coffee brews, for cryin' out loud! But really, here's the progression.
No Time = Lack of Control = Fear of the Unknown
Sure, inefficiency is the apparent pet peeve, but what I really hate is not having time to control all aspects of any situation so as not to be blindsided.
I read something on Instagram awhile ago that asked, "Are you resting or are you hiding?" I took a swift, unexpected breath in. I felt found out. I'm moving toward a slower life, but sometimes instead of resting in order to get back out into life, action, mission, I want to hide from it all and hope no one sees my inadequacy and fear. Although I don't fall asleep during tests, sometimes I use my own version of running away in writing or reading, staying home when everyone else is going somewhere, and more. These things are not always tools for hiding, but they're good ones if I decide I need to. Be careful of your motive for rest. Is it to get away, or to be recharged and revitalized?
Last year I had a life altering experience in which I discovered that my Meyers-Briggs personality type was not an INFJ, as I always thought, but an INFP instead. IDENTITY CRISIS. I'm okay now, but the main difference between those P and J markers lies in how we make our decisions. Judgers make decisions quickly, sometimes without thought or consideration, before they've seen all the options. Perceivers have to survey. They have to consult. They have to see every single option before they can make any decision. Presley and I are both Perceivers. (Hence, we cannot ever decide on what to do for date night.) The latin root of "decide" means "cut" or "kill." When you make a decision, you're literally killing all other options from that moment in time. SCARY, RIGHT?!
Even though being afraid of making decisions is totally rational (P's, holler), it also shows a lack of faith. Do I not trust God to give me the options and information I need in order to make the decision? Do I really think my happiness or fulfillment relies on my ability to say yes, no, or maybe, not God's ability to divinely light the way of my steps?
All three of these hide fear of failure.
Babies even know failing is something to avoid. They cry from the embarrassment of falling more than the physical pain of it. In adolescence, this fear of failure has desensitized many to apathy. They believe that the reason they don't do anything is because they don't care, when if they truly peeled back the layers of that nasty onion, they would find FEAR in bright lights, brimming with fire and probably with a recording of evil laughter coming out of the speakers. We grown people--no matter how much we wish we weren't--are full of fear, too. It manifests in different ways throughout life, but don't forget to peel back those layers when you feel the urge to lash out, retreat, or fail to make any decision at all.
As a creative, a perpetual learner, teacher, and sucker for growth, it is literally my job to fail. Fail hard and fail fast so you can coach others in that part of their process. It's your job, too. Failure is a sign of moving forward, not back. Success is not linear, and neither is abundant life.