“The greatest danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” Alfred Adler
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” Audre Lord
Taking too many precautions. Holding back. Letting our fear get in the way of our finishing. Letting opportunities pass us by because we aren’t old enough to seize them. Hesitating too long and losing a moment of inspiration and resolve.
I could go on and on. We’ve all been there and done that. Instead of taking Audre’s advice and daring to be powerful, we stop ourselves from getting what we want.
Why do we do it? Who knows where our fears come from or how deeply ingrained they are, or whether they make sense or not? Asking “why” doesn’t really help – we could spend our whole lives trying to find the answer.
A better question: What do we do about it? Here’s some helpful advice from Mary Schmich, a Chicago Tribune columnist:
“Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
“Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – what great advice! If we all did this until it became a habit, who knows what we might accomplish?
Let’s take this on! Let’s do one thing today that pulls us out of our comfort zone. Let’s send that email to a contact we want to renew. Let’s send out that story to that journal we think is way too prestigious to publish our work. Let’s send that query to that fabulous agent we’d really, really love to work with.
One thing. That scares us. Every day. We can do this! And now, emboldened and energized, let’s all write on!