If I Can, So Can You
So, I’ve been thinking, and really, I’m not that cool.
Really, I’m not–just ask my sister!
But inevitably, in conversations with people I’m getting to know, questions about our past work or past living situations come up and this brings up the topic of Japan. “That’s so cool!” they say when they hear I used to live there, or “wow, I wish I could do that!” They start to interact with me as if I was this brave, adventurous, daring kind of person…and then I’m too afraid to go on the big roller coaster with them. I moved out of the country, but I won’t ride Space Mountain at Disneyland? It confuses their image of me.
Honestly, I’m pretty boring. Kinda lazy, very slow moving and laid back. I pass up too many opportunities because they just sound like a lot of extra work. I often admire the people I meet and wonder why it is that they think they can’t?
I guess, what I’m really trying to say here is that if even I can do something big and scary and challenging like moving to another country, you can do something big and brave and tough too. It’s not a special trait given to a select few people. Everyone is capable of pushing themselves like that if you know what you want, we just get stuck in the comfortable and the familiar. We put off making that decision because it’s uncomfortable.
I booked a ticket to Thailand for a two week trip later this year, and spent the rest of the night shaking and stuttering with my heart pounding because it was big. It was a dream that I suddenly and unexpectedly had the chance to do; even though it didn’t seem like it was a great idea because of the timing, the expense, the spontaneity, the planning involved. And yet I booked it, and panicked a bit, and now I’m basking in the knowledge and excitement of knowing that I get to explore another country…and panicking a bit! But that’s okay. Those ten insane seconds of bravery it took to press the “Confirm” button were exactly what I needed to break out of my sticky, comfortable place again.
We can’t grow as human beings unless we challenge ourselves, and fear holds so many of us back from doing just that. Including me. But we can all push through it anyway and do something amazing. Maybe for you it’s not travelling–maybe it’s karaoke, displaying your artwork, signing up for a 5k or a marathon, changing your major or career, sky diving, or finishing a project you’ve poured your heart into. It could be anything, but I challenge you today to do something that scares you. Something tiny or something big, whatever it is, it’s a step in the right direction. It may not always be fun, and it will definitely be scary, but once it’s done you’ll have learned something and be glad for the experience. And then you can celebrate you! You can do anything for ten or twenty seconds, right? Right!
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
-Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo
So that’s what’s been on my mind lately–I’ve been scared of everything these days and I’m tired of it holding me back. Recently I’ve been afraid of finishing my credential because what if I turn out to be a terrible teacher?That fear has plagued me through every step of the credential process, especially the past few months as I’m nearing the end, along with an extensive list of reasons why I’m not good enough, will never be good enough, to be a great teacher.
But enough. I’m going to keep working hard and learn everything I can so I can finally put that fear to rest. I’m through holding myself back! It took a long time to get to this point, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I also think that learning from our mistakes make us stronger.
What scares you? What’s holding you back? Any tips or stories to inspire us all to be brave? Let’s have a chat and support group in these comments! Have the most fabulous day everyone!