Wednesday, February 4, 2015


For sixty more minutes on the West Coast, it's still the first Wednesday of the month time for another IWSG post where we writers help each other deal with our insecurities. A warm thank you to Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his team of Ninjas, for providing writer's a safe and supportive format to speak openly, and without fear, about the insecurities that come with the craft of writing. Be sure to check out the IWSG Facebook page where writers can garner support more than once a month.

Every once in awhile I like to step back from reflecting on my own insecurities and assure myself that these feelings are shared by many much greater and far more successful than myself. In reading this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  Do the thing you think you cannot do. I decided to delve into her insecurities and fears to gain understanding as to what she faced before she became the legend we know as First Lady of the World.

Several years ago I read a beautiful picture book about Mrs. Roosevelt and gained new insight about this former first lady. Here was a woman who battled depression due to the loss of her parents and brother at a young age, spent the first decade of her marriage under the thumb of an overbearing Mother-in-law (who not only insisted the newlywed couple live next door to them, but had sliding doors built between the townhouses for complete access), and a cheating husband who only stayed with her to please his mother.

Despite all this Mrs. Roosevelt went on to become a beloved first lady and a force to be reckoned with in the Civil Rights Movement. In comparing my life to hers I think I can find the strength to look fear in the face and as she instructs, do the thing I think I cannot do.


Eleanor Roosevelt was raised in a privileged but stern Victorian household, with an affectionate but mostly absent father and a critical mother who made fun of her daughter's looks. Alone and lonely for much of her childhood, Eleanor found solace in books and in the life of her lively and independent mind. Her intellectual gifts and compassionate heart won her the admiration of many friends -- and the love of her future husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


Can you look fear in the face? How did you respond? Did you do that thing you thought you couldn't do? 

6 comments:

Juneta Key said...

Great IWSG post.

"It is human to fear. Courage is not about not being afraid, but about being afraid and doing it anyway." I forget who said that.

Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway.
John Wayne

I like this quote too.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Julie Flanders said...

How inspiring! I've always loved that quote and some others from Mrs. Roosevelt. I have to look up this book, sounds great. Such an interesting lady.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Few first ladies will be remembered, but she always will be.

Chrys Fey said...

While fear paralyze us, facing it can bring us such courage and strength. Eleanor Roosevelt was an intelligent, inspiring woman.

LD Masterson said...

Hmmm. Was the cheating husband you mentioned FDR or was he her second husband? Now you've got my curiosity up.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks for the quote, Juneta, and stopping by!

I hope you enjoy the book, Julie, I really did.

Agreed, Alex.

Yes, Chrys, she was amazing.

It was FDR, L.D., with Lucy Mercer, his wife's social secretary.

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