Fear and self esteem: a promise to myself

I am having a hard time studying. I start working on a topic and then lose motivation, wander off and do something else. Usually I begin to get motivated late at night or close to deadlines and manage to get just enough work done so I do okay in my classes. I never fail, I just never do well or even begin to live up to my potential.
Intellectually, I know what to do. I know how my time should be organized and what I should be working on. The problem is confidence. Somewhere in the back of my mind, the idea has taken root that I am not particularly intelligent or attractive or worthy. This fear has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I don’t ask questions in class for fear that I’ll look stupid. I don’t study because I’m afraid I won’t understand the material and this will prove I’m an idiot. This despite the fact that, when I do study, I tend to have a quick mind for concepts and a great memory.
I have horrible interpersonal relationships with people because I’m afraid they won’t like the real me so I either ignore them for long stretches of time or I pretend to be the kind of person I think they’ll like. This despite the fact that those who have gotten to know the real me generally think better of me than I do of myself.
I also run from the merest hint of conflict, even if I’m right. Fear of losing keeps me from malking an honest attempt. This has been my largest failing in every martial arts I’ve ever taken. Despite being from a family of natural athletes, I hold myself back for fear of failure. Everyone I’ve ever trained under has said I have a great deal of potential. I’m just rarely confortable enough in my own skin to live up to it.
I hate constantly almost failing but the idea of true success scares me. I guess because it would mean creating a new image of myself and I’m confortable with this one.
Either way, I’m done with this version of myself. I owe it to myself and to those I love to strive for my full potential. I might still fail, but at least it will be honest failure, not a sham where I barely try. I’m also going back to my old kung fu school. Hopefully I can still patch things up with Master Wang. I owe it to myself to find out if I have the potential he saw in me. I’m going to put 2 hours every day to meditate and train. I’m going to put in the time that my studies deserve. This blog will, among other things, chronicle my journey towards living up to my own potential. See you on the road

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