When I was 5 years old my teacher made my class watch a video on what would happen if we got into a strangers car – at 5 years old I realized this world is risky.
When I was 7 years old I watched my best friend “date” a boy for a whole five days. She was convinced she was in love but then he dumped her because she didn’t have shoes that lit up. At 7 years old I realized love is risky.
At 14 years old I tried out to be in a musical and got rejected. At 14 years old I realized putting yourself out there and trying something new is risky.
When I was 17 years old I had a group of my classmates ask how many times I’ve had sex and when I said 0 they said they were going to drug me and change that – at 17 years old I realized standing up for what I believe in is risky.
When I was 19 years old I packed up my car and drove off to College and at 19 years old I realized following your dreams is risky.
Every one of the stories I just told you and all the ones I haven’t- brought this thing called fear into my life. When I heard about the abductions, when I watched my friend get hurt, when I got rejected, when I got threatened…it felt as if fear latched onto my body.
And it stayed there. It kept me up at night, made me play life safe and dictated my every decision. It wasn’t just a nervousness, it was a fear that paralyzed me.
Growing up I had a lot of awesome opportunities thrown my way and yet fear said no. Fear told me I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or daring enough. And I listened.
I went to bed scared, woke up scared, went through my day scared. My stomach was always anxious and upset.
One day I was a dancer in a production for kids and at practice we were doing a full run through. Once my aspect of the night was done, I sat down to watch the rest. There was this skit where a young girl held up signs that said “stupid, ugly, fearful, not enough, disgusting, coward etc.” Halfway through the song she flipped the signs over and now they read “worthy, fearless, beautiful, brave, strong, smart…”
I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down the word FEARFUL, then flipped it over and wrote FEARLESS.
It took a while to believe it. I didn’t all of a sudden change my mindset and become this super brave person. It was a choice I had to make.
When life takes a turn and the scary and the risky comes my way, my natural reaction is to run and hide. But that sticky note with the word FEARLESS reminds me to stand up and fight. To not allow myself to miss out on anything in life just because I’m scared.
If I decided never to audition again because of one rejection, I would have missed performing for the Children’s Aid Society Fundraiser where I got to dance alongside professionals and raise money for kids who don’t have a family.
If I had said no to love I wouldn’t have gotten married to my husband.
If I had said no to the college I wanted to go too, I wouldn’t be with Tattered Tiaras writing this blog and I wouldn't have met the amazing people that cross my path on a daily basis.
You never know who's on the other side of your courage.
So don’t play life safe.
I eventually got fed up just surviving life. I wanted to thrive. I wanted to make an impact on my world. But that meant scary and that meant risky. And I've decided that it’s a chance I’m willing to take. It doesn’t mean that fear isn’t present…it totally is!
But I fear not going after my dreams more. I fear not taking the risk more. I’m more scared of what I’ll miss if I don't.
Don’t be satisfied with good; go after great. Make the choice. Your future is up to you. Just say yes.