I have a confession to make. I’m scared. I don’t like putting myself in situations where I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t want you to figure out that I don’t have it all figured out. I’m afraid of failing, sometimes enough that it makes me wanna stop before I even start.
I want to be comfortable.
If you feel the same way, congratulations – you’re breathing. And you’re likely attempting something that matters.
Like you, I’ve spent my life searching for my purpose and building a career. I’ve accomplished many of my dreams, and have experienced some things I never even dared dream for myself. But I’ll admit that there have also been times when I’ve found myself paralyzed by the question, “What now?”
We know the seemingly “right” answer… Dream a big dream, and get to tackling it. But can we admit that that’s easier said than done? Sometimes it’s exhausting to even think about. Can’t we just eat some cake and watch tv, instead of creating a master plan for the future? Can’t we coast on the past and enjoy being a big fish in a small pond for a few minutes (or a few years)?
Who says we’ve gotta launch into the deep, seeking uncharted territory? Why not settle for something simpler on an easier path? A comfortable life can be built, even locked behind a fence. Sure it might be predictable and maybe even a little boring – but it’s safe, it’s known, it’s understood. No need for struggle or questions. You can still be loved, needed, fed and clothed, even if you’re settling for less than you were meant to have and become. And for many people, maybe even most, that’s enough. But somewhere inside, you hear the truth – even if you’ve tried to crowd it out or ignore it at times.
You were made for more.
Finding our purpose, reaching our potential and experiencing fulfillment will look different for each of us, of course. But for all of us, it will require deeper discipline and faith, action in spite of fear, new thinking, better questions and a willingness to travel beyond our comfort zone. Along the way, we’ll have to lay aside our ego and reputation – becoming the student instead of the teacher. And though we pay these and other costs, we may still find ourselves at the back of the line, waiting our turn.
Ugh – I want to delete that paragraph. It hurts to read because I know it’s true for me too.
Wanna hear some comforting news? You and I are not alone. Anyone daring to do something important feels the same insecurity, faces a similar fear, pays a price, does the work. The difference between the masses and the few is found in our answers to two questions.
1 – What will it cost me to live the life I was meant to live?
2 – Am I willing to pay it?
There’s more out there for you and me. Yes, more is required of us than we’ve given in the past, but if we embrace what’s uncomfortable and do the work… If we put down the fork and the remote, and face the unknown and unseen with boldness and courage, imagine what’s waiting out there for us… to become, to accomplish, to have and to give.
Out of your comfort zone? Um, yeah.
Feel like a newbie with something to prove?
Eyes on you, some waiting for you to fail?
Great… You’re doing it right. Remember, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were made for”.
It’s not what you and I were made for either.