Now, I don’t mean things like your favorite dinner or the TV remote. I am talking about desires that we repress because of the fear of failure. Things you want so bad that you’d rather not try, than invite the vulnerability that comes with the possibility of failing.
I think its a rather terrifying act to ask for something you want. The more deeply you desire it, the more daunting the endeavour becomes. These are the things where the simple three letter word ‘ask’ becomes one of the most nerve wrecking acts that you might ever choose to do.
Now most of you already know the kind of things I’m referring too. It’s like daring to ask that special someone, “Will you marry me,” or telling your boss “I quit,” finally freeing yourself from an unfulfilling career. It might also be things like admitting to yourself and your other half that things are just not working or having the courage to accept a flawed decision and giving yourself the permission to start over.
What is it really that stops us from taking the leap of faith? What prevents us from gathering the courage to ask and turn our biggest fears into our most valuable successes?
Though an endless realm of excuses flush your mind when you ask yourself this, I don’t think external factors can take all the blame. How could something external become so powerful that it prevents us from achieving our deepest desires?
I think the problem lies within us. Self critiquing and rejecting the validity of our own dreams or accepting societal norms without question are the key deterrents to living a fulfilled life. If a desire makes the tummy tingle, how could it possibly be silly? And even if it is termed irresponsible by the world around us, wouldn’t it still be worth a try simply because of the way it makes you feel?
Stepping outside the norm is difficult for both, the one making the move and also the one witnessing it. Not because there is a fundamental flaw in the action itself, but simply because of the uncertainty associated with it.
Think about it, could our logical minds ever convince a baby bird to jump off her nest? Wouldn’t this be termed the most ridiculous idea if it was left on the rational mind? Though there is no logical explanation from the baby birds point of view and no assurance that she will in fact be able to fly, she takes the leap of faith, simply because she believes and knows in her heart that she is meant to touch the sky.
Give yourself the permission to ask. There are no rules, no quotas for happiness and hard work or struggle is not a prerequisite to leading a fulfilled life. Being happy is innate in us and does not have to be earned or quested.
Just like the Jessie Belle Rittenhouse verse called “My Wage” says:
I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have gladly paid.
— Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869-1948)
What do you think is the difference between the have’s and the have not’s? I think it is a little bit of courage and a little bit of faith that allows them to overcome self imposed limitations and dare to ask what they truly desire.
Do you dare to soar?
(Photo credit: Hands Raised in Class via Shutterstock)