*This is the fifth in my mini-series on stories of my past that define me. I’ll write these periodically, as the ideas flow. Enjoy.*
Growing up, I never did any team sports, or many group activities of any kind (except Band for two years in middle school and I hated every minute of it!) and I always wondered if that ‘hole’ in my childhood experience would come back to me later in life. And the more I look back at times where I have held back, I go back to my childhood and feel as though not participating in those activities has ‘rubbed off’ on me to this day. In terms of holding back and not fully having the ability to let go, to act a part, to be part of a group, as a leader. For some reason, I equate these types of group activities with cultivating that ability and comfort level with it, because I think not being as involved (this was completely voluntary, by the way, nothing to do with my parents or anything!) enabled me to shutter myself out a bit and be more naturally inward.
I think this is why I have put myself out there, out of my comfort zone countlessly over the last several years and in most cases, with success. But there is still a part of me that just holds back. It’s as thought my body is in this extreme state of discomfort, pushing against a wall that just won’t budge, so I get to that ‘good’ stage but never get to that ‘dare to be great’ stage. It’s actually extremely frustrating because I know I can do the things in which I am most afraid, but that I know will take the most work, the most discomfort and will cause the most fear to rise up in my chest.
But doing what I have always done – holding back – won’t get me to that ‘dare to be great’ stage. Nor will pushing against it and just hoping that it’ll eventually budge that extra few yards to the finish line. I need to act different. I need to approach the things that scare me – but that I really want most – differently so I don’t go into hold-back mode and I break through that barrier, farther than a few yards, more like an entire football field. Go for the touchdown, not just the field goal.
Part of that is quieting the mind…a post my sis wrote, that I read part of, but stopped myself, because we are clearly of the same mind today (shocking…you’d think we were related or something. Hehe).
Part of that is trusting myself and shutting out the voices that tell me no, and more importantly, shutting out the eyes that are watching, the ears that are listening, and just focusing on what I am doing. Just me, nothing else. I have always been so concerned with how I come across and how I am doing things, rather than just focusing on doing them well and screw whatever else is occurring around me, whoever is around me, and what the circumstances are.
And the biggest part? Just doing it. Run towards that fiery wall and just busting through it. No matter if I feel like I look stupid, or wrong, or different. That’s the point. It’s different. It’s new. It’s not me. But it will be.
Isn’t that what life is all about?
Going for the ‘dare to be great’ moments instead of holding back and sitting by the sidelines? I’ve been down the ‘going halfway and then stopping’ route far too many times, the thisclose or ‘good enough’ but I am sick of that. I don’t want to be good enough. I want to be great.
And to be great means a clean slate, throwing the rulebook out of the window and just going for it. If I can apply it to running, I can apply it to anything, right?
So that is just what I will do. Go. For. It.
What do I have to lose?
Seize the Day.
Make your lives extraordinary.
**Watch one of my favorite scenes from Dead Poet’s Society…starts around 5 mins in…gives me chills every.single.time.**