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Begin, The Scariest Word

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And … begin

Ever since I was little, the word “Begin” has brought mixed emotions for me.

There were always some things that I would get to start that I loved. Each new day was a new beginning.

But no one ever said “Begin” at the start of my day. In fact, maybe they did, but I had probably already hit the ground running and was gone by the time they had drawn breath to utter the words.

But times change, and so did I.

By the time

By the time I had written my second test in school, the word “Begin” had started to cause some anxiety.

It seems that this benign word is often used to indicate the start of a situation where we will be graded on our ability to focus on things we already know, or are supposed to already know.

In the one case

If I had been lucky enough to have been engaged by the subject and had learned what I was supposed to have learned, a test was often an annoyance at the best of times.

And at the worst of times it was a situation of excruciating pain. Consider this, adrenaline charged and then held still, expected to be quiet yet to also concentrate on redoing something I already knew.

In the other case

If the subject hadn’t captured my imagination, then there was a good chance that I didn’t know the work I was being tested on. This was also painful, but perhaps not so painful as knowing the work.

And surprisingly enough, it was not uncommon for me to sus out, from clues in the test, the basics of what it was I was supposed to have learned.

Out of school …

By the time I was done school, I had figured out enough coping mechanisms that I was much better at conforming to the rigors of the school regimen.

And fortunately for me I never lost my love of learning, even through the painful experiences of being taught.

And in fact

Not all of my experiences in school were painful. Starting with my grandmother, a retired school teacher who taught me to read and write before I started school and continuing on throughout my school career, there were wonderful bright spots.

I had the wonderful experience of having many teachers who chose to guide me and help me learn, rather than to teach me.

But still

Even though I have acquired the knowledge that lets me recognize the beginning as a point easily passed, the initiation of things still has the ability to cause me some anxiety.

Starting a blog post, on some occasions can be like that. My other blog, “Today I Love …” was like that for me for a while. I would feel the pressure of obligation, and that would hold my hand and tie my tongue. But I soon found that if I started to write I was past the beginning and that was where anxiety would disperse.

Still, to this day, the idea of sitting down in a room full of people, all with the same paper and the same number two pencil in front of them, causes me some anxiety. But I get to shake that off and move forward, because it’s memory, just a bad memory.

Begin, The Scariest Word

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). Begin, The Scariest Word. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from


Last updated: 13 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Nov 2017
Published on All rights reserved.