Every time I screw up, I think that now I understand this particular pattern and will watch for it, prevent it from happening again. For example, I know that I've run away from things I really would want or enjoy a number of times out of fear. I almost turned down the workshop at the college for this very reason, and I've said no to jobs at Hollins and elsewhere that I wish I would have taken.
In fact, from the very beginning, this is the way things have been. I must have been 17 or 18 when I was told that I should be a teacher, but I didn't think I wanted to be--not that I knew. I'd never done it. Once I did it, I realized that was what I wanted. But I didn't take the first job I was offered, thinking I needed more education to be able to do it justice. And I turned down community college jobs when I first finished the PhD, only to learn that this is what I probably should be doing. I guess learning from experience is not generally as easy as it's supposed to be.