Sometime ago I responded to a quiz in O (Oprah) magazine which asked the question, ‘What’s holding you back?’ The majority of my responses revealed what I already knew. A fear of failure.
Whether I’ve been procrastinating a long time or I’m just a late bloomer, the moniker is not as important as what it suggests. Fear of what might happen had the ability to dictate how I approached, or in some instances, completely avoided potential opportunities.
As a teenager, I used to swim at a park pool in the summer. Once I impulsively decided to try the high dive. But when I climbed the stairs and walked to the edge, I looked down and froze. Instead of jumping into the cool blue water, my feet did an about-face and led me back down the stairs. Mortified and embarrassed, I fled to the bathroom to hide until my heart stopped pounding. That’s kind of how I felt when I started working as an independent consultant. Companies were laying of. I had bills to pay and a burning question beating me on the back of my head: can I really do this on my own?
For most of my professional career, I had the safety net of a company and a steady paycheck to sustain me. That ended in 2008 when I faced a difficult challenge and survived. I have been reinventing myself ever since. (hence the Twitter moniker my3rdact). To make positive things happen, I needed to get out of my own way, made better choices – in the people I surround myself with and the battles I believe are worth fighting. It hasn’t always been easy to do; I’m a work in progress and each day gets better.
With each new venture, I gain confidence to do what I encourage in others: be true to who I am, my talents and abilities to accomplish my professional goal, plan a dream trip and learn to take risks even when I’m not certain of the outcome. It’s all part of a plan designed long ago, and not by me.
I don’t know what the next act holds for me, but there will be less hesitation when I’m faced with what I perceive is a difficult challenge. The key is to keep moving and look at each situation as an opportunity. So move to the side, doubt and worry! I have God and courage walking with me on in my journey.
This is my time. I’m ready.
2 thoughts on “Getting out of my own way”
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” –
— Henry David Thoreau
I love it! Imagine life without fear of failure!!! We all owe it to ourselves.