It’s normal. It’s human. It’s actually what keeps us alive. The big “it” is our need to feel safe and secure. This feeling is what protects us from danger. But this feeling can also be a barrier that stops us from fully becoming who we were meant to be.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my life (mid-thirties kinda of does something to you lol). I think back to decisions I made when I was younger and how they have affected me in the present. I think about ways I could have flourished in different areas if I had just stepped out of the box.
I think about how I wanted to join the debate team in high school but was nervous about public speaking. I think about how I wanted to run for class vice president but, again, did not want to give a speech. I wanted to run track my senior year but was scared I would not be as good as I thought I could be. I made up an excuse and did not run.
I remember how I wanted to join a dance team in college but was too afraid to try out. Or how I wanted to write for the school paper but was scared my writing skills were not up to par. And how someone recommended that I help design clothes for a college modeling group since I used to cut up clothes and design t-shirts. I went to the first meeting and never went back. Why? I was intimidated by the other designers.
All of these things would have provided me with the opportunity to learn more about myself and develop new skills, but I took the easy road. It was easier to give up than to put myself out there.
As I’ve gotten older, I have gotten better about this, but I still need some work. Though there are areas in my life that I am fearless in, I am fearless in those areas because I feel safe. Those areas are within my comfort zone. But what happens when going to the next level requires removing the safety net? What happens when I no longer feel safe and I have to truly stretch myself to become more than I am today? Will I decide that “right where I am” is good enough? Or will I decide to step away from the shore, embrace the fear, and swim anyway? What if I am built for much more than what I have become? And what if you are, too?
I’ll be the first to say it- it sucks to suck. It’s hard to feel like you’re not so great at something. It’s an ego-killer. But what if our egos are killing our potential? Don’t you want to be all that you can be? Even if you have to be bad at it first?
As Oprah once said, we should be seeking to become the fullest expression of ourselves. We cannot become that by playing it safe. Though the shore is safe and the beach is pretty, we cannot remain there, because we are meant for more.
This week, what will you do to step a little further away from the shore? What were you built for? A ship was built to carry goods across the sea. We have our own goods to carry. We are a vessel filled with potential, carrying skills and talents waiting to be used. And someone is waiting on YOU to use them. Someone needs you. Someone needs me. But we cannot be used at our fullest capacity if we are sitting on the sidelines.
It’s time to sail. Are you ready?