Cast not away therefore your confidence.
More than ten years ago, when I was 19 years old, I saw a flyer hanging in the HFAC (Harris Fine Arts Center…my home on BYU campus). It was announcing auditions for a “music mission” in Nauvoo…participants needed to be proficient in singing, acting and dancing. As a vocal performance major, I had the singing down, and since I had at one time been accepted into the Music/Dance/Theater program, I thought the other two I could handle. Problem was, the auditions were done.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the entire next year, and as soon as that notice went up the next year, I called and set up my audition. Audition day came, and I drove up to Salt Lake where the auditions were being held. They were happening in the Church Office Building and we had to have some special parking permit. Once I got there, I wasn’t really sure where to park, and I was so nervous that I was beginning to have second thoughts. I seriously considered turning around and driving back down to Provo and just forgetting the entire thing…and blaming it on not being able to find a parking place. Somewhere in my mind, I tried to hold on to the fact that I really wanted this and had wanted it for a year now. So I steeled myself against my fears, figured out where to park and went into the audition.
Once inside, again I seriously thought I should just leave when I saw how many people were there. There were over 200 girls, and maybe 50 guys. I knew there were roles for 6 women and 6 men, so I didn’t feel that my odds were very good at this point. But again, I had to tell myself that I was already there and I might as well try. If nothing else, I could chalk it up to experience….audition experience is always helpful.
I was there all day. I did my initial audition and sat around waiting for callbacks. I made the first cut, and the second cut. Things were looking up….but looking at all the talent that was there, I still didn’t have much confidence in it. After all was said and done, we were sent home to wait for a letter in the mail.
A few weeks later I received that letter…and I had been chosen to go! I was thrilled, of course, but couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I had almost thrown the whole entire opportunity right out the window. As it turns out, that summer in the show at Nauvoo was a major turning experience in my life. I really redefined who I was and when I came home, I had an entirely different set of goals than I had had before.
So….here we are today, 10 years after I returned home from Nauvoo. I haven’t forgotten that lesson, and I have tried hard not to let my fears of failure get in the way of opportunity. Yet still, every day I fight with the little demons in my mind that tell me that I’m not good enough, or smart enough, or creative enough, or organized enough or whatever enough to attain my goals, aspirations and dreams.
Maybe 8 years ago, Elder Holland gave a wonderful devotional at BYU and based it on the scripture in Hebrews 10:3-
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
He reminded us that fear is our greatest enemy. I know he was focusing mainly on receiving an answer to prayer, and then “casting away” the confidence of that answer as we let fears of various sorts come in. I came away from that devotional knowing that it applied to my perpetual fear of failure and the many opportunities I did not allow myself because I was afraid.
So today I am thinking that after 3 years of thinking I can’t do it, I am going to finally enter the Scrapbook Hall of Fame contest. All of the old familiar feelings that I’m not good enough, or creative enough or talented enough are beginning to paralyze me right now. But I want to do this…I want to say, just like I said at an audition ten years ago, that if nothing else I can chalk it up to experience. If I don’t win, I will still have pushed the limits of my creativity and made myself better, I will still have pages that I love in my books and I will have the dignity of knowing that I didn’t give in to my fears….I didn’t cast away my confidence. I won’t cast away my confidence. I will not turn around and drive back home, because there is always a chance that it just might be the thing that I was meant to do.
you’ll totally win, you’re MY friend. Maybe I’ll enter with you, then you’ll be a shoe-in. 🙂
this is an awesome post! thanks for sharing!
awesome post, lara!
WOW, I’m so proud of you. My chldren teach me much! Maybe I won’t cast away my fears for the Mo-Tab choir next July either. Lar, your pages are phenomenal. All will be well, whatever happens. You will probably win. Love ya forever and a day!
What a fabulous entry! This story reminded me of Sherri Dew’s experience with the basketball team, one of my favorite stories by one of my favorite heroes! I’m inspired by the fact that you captured such a valuable lesson! Good luck to you!! I love your blog!! Hmmm, another new hangout!
Have a great day!
what an incredible story. it makes me think about my own hang-ups and how i’ve always been afraid to face them.
What a great story and lesson you share. Good for you! It takes much bravery to enter HOF (in my opinion). Regardless of the outcome, you will grow through the process. Me – I’m not there yet. I still don’t do contests. Why? Because I’m afraid that the rejection would send me into a tailspin. BEST OF LUCK!
Good Luck! I am sure you will do just great, your pages are amazing.
Doesn’t it feel great when you face your fears?
I know fear is my greatest enemy. I am always trying to conquer it.
So true, and congrats on going for things. You never know what may come out of it, and you are totally qualified!
I love 2 Timothy 1:7
The Lord hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of peace and love and of a sound mind.
I love it, and think of it all the time. It helps me overcome my irrational fear of drive-by shootings 🙂 Incidentally, several friends who also grew up in the Phoenix valley in the 80s have the same fear.
So, how did the scrapbooking turn out?
I really needed to read this today. Thanks Lara!
This is a great post Lara, thank you! I think the biggest confidence challenge I ever had was revealing to people how much I love table designs. I always felt odd that people might confuse my dinnerware collection with showing off which always killed my confidence unless I was sure no one was going to see it. That’s why now I am so much more at peace with myself.
Feeling not good enough stinks and I’m so glad you have these posts to strenghten you.
Thanks Lara for sharing!! Your blog is just amazing!!!
A great lesson for me too! I think I’ve held back doing things my whole life first because of fear, then because of the discomfort of fear.
What a challenge it is to be confident in ourselves and to know where our value truly lies. Especially as women.
I consistently have to remind myself that there is no one else who can fill my place. (Even though I can plainly see SEVERAL people around me at all time who would obviously do a much better job.) 🙂
Thank you for the reminder.
Pushing the limits on my comfort zone is definitely hard for me. I love your thoughts on this.
It is usually soooo much easier to just forget it and give up, but what comes from that except many lost chances to progress and get better acquainted with ourselves. Nice post.
Why do we do that to ourselves??? We are the ones holding ourselves back because of our fears.
It’s funny, because on one hand I think I’m relatively talented at many things, and yet I totally lack the confidence to share any of it much outside of my family because I assume that in the larger population I’m really pretty mediocre. I don’t quite know how to get over that.
How did the scrapbooking entry go?
Hey, fun! Now we can be blogging buddies too! 🙂
You were a YPM?!?! I wanted to do that so badly, but summers meant making money… so I did other shows and stuff. What year were you out there? My grandparents were missionaries in Nauvoo. I’m trying to remember when they were out there. I will have to ask.
You blog is super fun! I have enjoyed reading your posts. I’m not very good at posting, but will enjoy keeping up with yours!