March 27, 2012

You deserve to shine

I want you to think for a moment about all the things you haven't done or tried because of fear of failing, fear of embarrassment, or fear of looking foolish.

Was there a job you should have applied for? A guy you wanted to date? An adventure you turned down? A book proposal you never submitted? A food you never tried? An inspirational person you never met? A conference you didn't speak at? A game you refused to play?

Now think about how your life might have been enriched if you had just taken the risk. Did you miss out on the opportunity to create, build, struggle, innovate, travel, love, defy, grow, feel, and survive?

Are you afraid to strive? Are you afraid of new ideas? Are you afraid of criticism or suggestions or difficult conversations?

Do you spend your days avoiding perceived danger, not listening, avoiding all risk, covering your you-know-what, and staying safe in your unchanging, ungrowing world?

How does that feel? I'm guessing frustrating, suffocating, boring, lonely, bland, sad or tedious.

Now, think for a moment about a time that you took a risk.

You asked out the girl, you shared your idea with your boss, you took that trip by yourself. It wasn't easy, and it might have been really stressful. And maybe the girl said no, or your boss had already had the idea. Didn't it feel a little bit good to push yourself anyway, to try something out of your comfort zone? And if you succeeded, wasn't that even more awesome?

I'm just asking you to take a baby step. Here's one of mine, and here's another one. Pick one thing that you really want to do. One thing that you fear, but that you know could be really rewarding if you accomplish it (maybe it's getting a speaking engagement on your calendar...). Just start now taking baby steps to achieve that goal.

It's not as easy as you think to avoid taking risks. Staying "safe" will chip away at the you you could be. It will beat you down. If you don't take the risk, you don't grow. You don't thrive. You don't shine. And you deserve to shine!

Please share a scary growth experience in the comments!

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