Courtesy of Victor Hanacek

Duck-Duck-Do IT!

Back in preschool, when it was customary to invite the entire class to your birthday party, the girl that I despised showed up at my doorstep. Despite my hatred of her, my family, friends and I did our best to make her feel included and to get her to have a good time. The trouble was, whenever we began a new activity she refused to join in.

“You’ll enjoy it!” My aunt reasoned, frustrated by her negative attitude. “Just give it a try.”

The girl watched the ongoings of the party from afar and said, “I don’t do anything that I haven’t already done.”

Even though I was only five years old, I knew that this was a lame excuse not to play Duck Duck Goose. I mean, come on. It’s DUCK DUCK GOOSE!

I was happy when my relatives responded, “But if you don’t do anything you’ve never done, how do you do anything at all?”

The girl shrugged and we carried on with our party; her more morose than anyone I knew, and everyone else making wonderful memories.

Most of us would agree that this little girl was simply shy and that she avoided new things because she couldn’t overcome whatever fears were holding her back. It had been so easy to judge her seemingly silly behavior on that day, so easy to hate her for what had either been stubbornness or a lack of courage. But upon reflecting on my 5th birthday party, I now realize that inside each and every one of us lies the girl from my preschool. She is the little voice inside of our head that talks us out of doing all sorts of interesting and potentially life changing activities simply because we haven’t done them before.

Take a moment to think about something that you’ve always wanted to do that you’ve never done.

Have you thought of something? Now ask yourself, why haven’t you done it? In some cases the answer might be simply “because I can’t afford to.” However, in most instances the reasons that we come up with are not reasons at all, but excuses that we develop because we are too scared to do it. Maybe you want to start a business but you are afraid that it will fail. Maybe you want to do karaoke but are afraid of making a fool of yourself. Maybe you want to travel the world, but you are afraid to take on the extra job that would allow you to pay for it. Maybe you’ve spent your whole life being told not to do that special something, and are afraid to say, “screw you” to the haters and do it anyway!

Whatever the excuse, make sure that it isn’t a result of fear. In the words of Suzy Kassem, “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” So rid yourself of the little girl from my preschool who prevents you from doing the things that will make you happy. Even if things don’t go exactly the way that you want them to, at least you can feel proud that you had the courage to try.

Header Image Courtesy of Viktor Hanacek

Disclaimer: I am not a blogging professional, or a magical guru that can solve all of your problems. I cannot be held liable for triumphs, failures, or anything else that occurred to you as a result of reading the content on my blog.

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