The Road Not Taken

The Road Not TakenHow many times have you gone to do something, paused and then decided against if? How many times have you gone to send something, start something, publish something, submit something or make something only to decide, ‘no’?

And how often have you made that decision through fear that it wouldn’t be liked; out of concern that it wasn’t good enough; due to the worry that you might look foolish; or through anxiety that others might laugh?

I know I have. In fact, every time I go to hit ‘publish’ on this blog I have those thoughts. But I do it anyway, because it’s the only way to grow and in the hope that it resonates with someone.

After all, I’d rather it resonate with someone than no one. So I hit ‘publish’.

These feelings and these aversions are in part, a result of the way we’ve been schooled, taught and indoctrinated through our working lives.

Let me give you some examples.

Do any of these sound familiar:

Don’t get too big for your boots.

Don’t put your head above the parapet.

Don’t try to be too clever.

Don’t try to be better than you are.

Don’t take risks.

Or how about these:

Do wait your turn.

Do worry what others think.

Do wait to be asked.

Do blend into the crowd

Are you kidding me?

If any of the above prevents you from sending, starting, publishing, submitting, or making, then you’re culpable of giving into this conventional wisdom.

The point is that doing something new, trying something new can be scary. That’s just the way of it. But once you start, once you get going and once you generate momentum then those feelings subside, your comfort zone increases and you move on to do more.

Because that’s the thing. If we try more, do more; then our tolerance for the scary increases. We’re less impacted and less likely to be knocked off our course. Try less, do less; and our tolerance for the scary decreases. We’re more likely to say no – that we’re not good enough, clever enough or strong enough.

How many new and innovative approaches could you have shared? How many better ways to do things could you have demonstrated? How much could you have connected with or resonated with an audience? 


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