When I was eight years old, I took a beginners gymnastics class and I loved it. At the time we had family friends whose three girls were so good at gymnastics that they were asked to train to at the Olympic training center. Now I knew that I wasn’t that good, but it didn’t matter because I knew that they had been in training since they were three. However, one day I noticed that I wasn’t as good as the others in my class and I lost the enjoyment because I felt I didn’t measure up. So after that nine week session, I quit. Years later, I heard my mom telling someone that my gymnastics coach thought I had the potential to be as good as our family friends. I was stunned and regretted my hasty decision.
This past week, I’ve procrastinated and have hardly worked on my manuscript and last night I started to wonder if it is because I’m a ninety percenter. (Yes, I made up that word.) A ninety percenter gets ninety percent of the way to their objective and then they give up or they sabotage it. You might know someone like this or maybe you are one of them. I’ve reflected back on some of the things I’ve done in my life and I can honestly say that there are choices that I made that appear to be a ninety percenter decision, like the gymnastics class or the piano lessons. Some of the experiences, I’ve let fear keep me from succeeding. Fear that I won’t be good enough? Fear that no matter how long I practice the craft, I’ll never be good enough. And fear that I’ll be rejected or laughed at. Logically, I understand that there will always be people who are better than me, people who have more talent, and yes people who are mean and laugh, but emotionally, that fear is a catalyst for me to quit. However, after speaking to my supportive husband last night, I’ve realized that this not going to be a ninety percenter project. It might not be perfect by April 19th, but I will finish it!
Have you ever been a ninety percenter?