A Year of Gifts
The older I get, the more I appreciate how much fun it can be to take a leap of faith. How about you? When was the last time you took a leap?
I admit it. I often get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. It’s scary to start something when you don’t have it all figured out on the front end. At least it scares me. But then, when I take a step back and look at things in hindsight, I realize some of the best things I’ve done were the result of taking a deep breath, closing my eyes and jumping in.
Just dipping your toes in often doesn’t cut it. If you give something a little bit of time, a little bit of effort, a little bit of commitment, you will probably get a little bit out of it. All this half-hearted effort will quickly result in loss of interest and you move on to try a little bit of something else.
I’ve been thinking about why so many of us are afraid to try new things—myself included. Where does all this fear come from? If we do take a chance on something, what is the worst that can happen if it doesn’t work out?
The fear can come from so many places. All you have to do is tune into the daily news to get an extreme dose of the terrible things that can go wrong. Why is it that almost all news is of the “bad” variety? That question is too big to tackle here. But it is worth reminding ourselves one of the reasons it is noteworthy is because it isn’t something we all experience everyday—thank goodness. They seldom show us the 95% (or whatever the number really is, you know what I mean) of the time things turn out. Sadly, the positive stories seldom make for sensationalist headlines and ratings even though they should.
I’m also concerned fear of failure is being deeply ingrained in our kids. I am the mother of three awesome kids. One is done with college, one is in the middle of her college years, and one is still in high school. All three have been extremely concerned about their grades. For years they feared the impact any grade less than an “A” would have on their future. Are their fears unfounded? Not so much in today’s education system if you hope to obtain scholarships based on academic strengths. They learn they need to be nearly perfect in all subjects, regardless of whether or not they enjoy the topics or will even have any use for them in their “real” lives. I wish there was a way kids could do more exploring and trial-and-error during high school and college. They miss out on honing this valuable life skill during their formative years. Grades and standardized test scores are an easy way to “judge” kids. I doubt this will change.
I think another big reason we are afraid to take a leap is because we worry too much about what other people think. It wasn’t until I focused more on self-development as I headed into my forties that I had a huge “aha” moment – NO ONE ELSE IS PAYING MUCH ATTENTION TO US AT ALL. They are all too worried about what everyone else is thinking about them! So why do we care so much what other people think? We shouldn’t.
For me, my writing journey has been a series of ongoing leaps of faith. I often feel like I’m running the hurdles, jumping over fear of something new nearly every day! But what I’m finding is when I spend so much time in these uncharted waters I have a blast and it’s invigorating. Will everyone like what I write? Of course not. But if I keep my eye on my vision of trying to entertain and inspire as many people as possible, I stay in that exhilarating place. I can’t control who will and who won’t like something I write. Heck, the same person may hate something they read from me one day and like it the next. They might even be reading the same thing but they are in a different frame of mind today than yesterday.
We have to focus on the things we can control and, to the best of our abilities, ignore the rest. Throw out our own indecision. Stop overcomplicating things and take a chance. Fear kills so many dreams. Most of the things we miss out on in life are because of our fear of failure. The reality of failure is that most times failure is not serious. It is an opportunity to gain wisdom, make some adjustments and try again.
Is there something you’ve been wanting to try but fear has held you back? It could be in any aspect of your life. If you can’t stop thinking about it and if your life would be better if it works out, it might be worth a jump. I’ll be here to cheer you on! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!