The Joseph Campbell Guide to Moving Forward Even If You’re Terrified and Ignorant
Testing to your own flight
Often times we feel inadequate because we haven’t found a way to test ourselves yet.
We don’t have any victories under our belt to garner greater trust in our own resources.
I started my publishing and consulting company the day I graduated college. But at age twenty two, I had no business model, zero customers and hardly any credentials. Wherever I showed up, I always seemed to be the youngest, dumbest and least experienced person in the room.
Not to mention, I was still living with my parents and working nights as a valet parker, so my feelings of inadequacy were crippling.
And so, I spent the first few years being judgmental about my flaws, fixating on everything that was wrong, getting down on myself and blowing every minor incident out of proportion. Until my mentor gave me a powerful piece of advice:
If you don’t feel inadequate at least some of the time, you’re probably not stretching enough. Let your feelings of inadequacy do their job, he said. Allow them to be the driving force of better.
His advice lit a fire under my ass. It compelled me to test myself for real. And so, I left the nest, quit my part time job and went full time with my career as a writer. Because I knew the only way to quell my feelings of inadequacy was to achieve success on my own steam.
Campbell explains that everyone has that time in their life when they’ve got to test themselves out to their own flight. To find out if they’re really a match for the task. To see if they possess the courage and knowledge and capacity to win. It’s a critical threshold of the hero’s journey. And while this test doesn’t guarantee that your feelings of inadequacy will evaporate forever, it does afford you a few notches on your victory belt.
That way, when you reach the next phase of the journey, you can look down and remember, I am equal to this challenge, I trust my resources, I am the person who can do this.
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When was the last time you tested yourself?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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