The spectre of my own inadequacy used to haunt me. It was something I tried to hide from myself, and of course, from others.

I lived with a shadow I knew about, but which I hoped no-one else could see. I would deal with it by noting other peoples’ deficiencies, and at times pointing them out. It was an ugly habit, but in some small way it kept me safe from a nasty undercurrent that threatened my self-image.

It was costly too; I had to remaining vigilant so as to to miss others’ failings, as I saw them. That takes energy, and it created a tension in me that held me back from trying the things I’d really like to have tried. I was in a prison of my own making.

I can’t remember when it was exactly that I discovering my own inadequacy and learned to accept and embrace it, but I can vividly remember the effect. All of a sudden no-one could touch me with their judgements. I had realised too that however many mistakes I made, they were outnumbered a thousand-fold by the things I got right.

That was when I started a new life.