Have you always wanted to do something, but you didn’t do it because you didn’t think you would be good at it? Have you stopped doing something because of a hateful comment, or stepped out of your comfort zone to do something, but felt as if you were out of place or an imposter? Don’t worry because you are not alone. I’m pretty sure everyone has had these feelings at some point, but they hold us back from experiencing adventures. The fear of failure or humiliation can be so great that it can paralyze us from doing something we would enjoy. Here are a few examples I have seen or experienced myself.
I taught at the high school level for most of my career, but at one point I had a chance to teach at the local university. My oldest was a student at the time, so on the first day we rode in together. I said to my daughter, “I’m so nervous. They are going to find out I am a high school teacher, not a professor.” She looked at me and said, “Mom, if you are a good teacher for them that’s all that matters, and they are going to be so much more nervous than you are.” I love it when my children are wiser than I am. I loved my time at the university, and no one complained that I also taught at the local high school.
I am in love with running, and it has saved my health both physically and mentally. I am always sad when someone says they want to be a runner but then gives me all the reasons he cannot do it. I hear people all the time saying they would not be able to do it.
Twenty years ago, I was coaching cross country and loving it. I found out that you could design a pair of running shoes on Nike’s website, so I designed a pair of running flats that had cross country written in silver letters along the side. The first and only time I raced in them a woman passed me and said, “Well, at least you have cool shoes.” I know, ouch! I told myself I wasn’t good enough to wear those shoes and put them in the back of my closet. Last night, we were in a sports store and a man was telling his son that you could custom design shoes. I remembered the shoes, pulled them out, and wore them today. I let a hater stop me from wearing those beautiful shoes. Don’t allow mean comments to hold you back.
Gardening gives me peace. I walk into that space, and I can release any negativity I carried in there. I have recommended it to many people, but I often hear people say they would like to try but they don’t know where to begin. So many times it only takes one step to start something wonderful. Take the step because you could be missing out on something fun.
I actually love to cook, but my husband wants to be the master chef, so for years I have let him do it, but I am going to start spending more time in the kitchen. Do what you love!
The bottom line is you should always do your best, give yourself some grace if you fall short, do new things without the fear of failure, and if you do fail get back up and try again. Don’t listen to the haters or the naysayers. Enjoy life!