There’s not much I’m afraid of in the world. I’m not afraid of public speaking, snakes, death, or the guy on the oatmeal box (shoutout to anybody that gets the 90’s reference :D).
I won’t lie though, there are a few things that truly do scare me. I’m afraid of being alone. More specifically, I’m afraid of being an old cat lady. I’m afraid of being that one lady that lives up on a hill in the middle of the woods by herself with all her cats. No family. No friends. No one that would say anything good at my funeral or cry when they heard of my death. I was really excited about moving to
Florida (before the job fell through) until I realized that I would be alone in a new place with no friends or family close by. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t get the job, so then I wouldn’t have to go to Florida all by myself. I would never admit that to my mama or anyone else that knows me as the one that hops on a plane the first chance she gets, but it’s true. I was afraid of being by myself.
I’m also afraid of failure and rejection. I’m afraid of trying for things because I don’t think I’ll get them. My best friend told me about a job in Evansville as director of an African-American museum that I should apply for. She was really excited for me and thought I would be perfect for the job. I didn’t think I was qualified enough for it. I told her I would look at the job and think about applying. Did I apply? Nope. And guess what? I didn’t get the job. I know that’s obvious, but sometimes, we don’t realize that we solidify our fate when we refuse to try for things that may be out of our reach.
I say all of this to say that fear tends to hold us back more than any one person can, and usually it’s the fear of rejection or failure. But we’ve all been rejected. We’ve all failed. We didn’t die. We woke up the next morning and moved on with our lives. So why is it that we are so afraid of trying? What’s the worst thing that can happen? If we fail, that means something greater is on its way. Failure might punch us in the face and we might end up with a black eye, but next time, we’ll know when to bob and weave.
I really love this quotation by Wayne Gretzky:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
You never know what opportunities you’re missing because you’re afraid of trying for them. And trust me, I’m speaking to myself just as much as I am to you. I’m really good at talking myself out of things because I figure I won’t get it. You deserve what you settle for, so why not reach for the stars? Maybe you’ll be surprised. 🙂