You’ve heard the saying “don’t feed the bears”; but piranhas are far worse. I grew up in a small town where bear sightings were as commonplace as checking your mail. We all knew how to avoid confrontation and went about our merry lives. Maybe that’s why “don’t feed the bears” doesn’t seem like a useful warning. Piranhas are a different story! I know that my knowlege of them is limited to little snipets I’ve heard about them, but that’s enough to make me avoid being in the same body of water as them. You give them one drop of blood and they will devour you to the bone! Terrifying isn’t a strong enough word. Now that I have pervayed my fear of these tiny, big toothed devil fish I can move on to what I really set out to do: feeding my negativity. My wife can attest to how quickly I can derail myself when I allow doubt or fear to gain a foot hold. I have lost out on a few things in my life because of this. It doesn’t take much before I find myself being devoured by doubt or guilt or fear, eventually claiming defeat and allowing the negative thoughts to pick away every piece of flesh from the bones of my ambition. I spend a large amount of time in my own head, so only a small fraction of these situations ever get witnessed, but believe me my mind is stained red with the blood of devoured ideas and dreams. I know what the problem is (negative thoughts), but they bombard me with such intensity that it is inevitable that a few will break through my thought catching force shield. I have had a couple breakdowns over school as it seems the longer I have to wait for an answer, the more dream destroying thoughts get through. I want this to work and I know I can do it, but the thoughts creep in. You aren’t smart enough, you aren’t driven enough, you can’t afford it, you don’t have the time. Those are the most repetitive of the thoughts and they weigh heavily on my heart. I have always assumed that I would never be good enough to succeed in life. That burden has followed me everywhere I have gone. I tended to take jobs when they were offered assuming that I couldn’t do any better and saw my successes as mere luck or circumstance. This is a hard path to get away from and even now with the meds and all of the cognitive tools I have been learning, these thoughts persist. I have given up on a lot of things I wanted because I told myself that I didn’t deserve to succeed. I have stayed in the same soul-sucking line of work because I have convinced myself that I can’t do better. I keep dropping blood in the pool full of piranhas before I jump in.