I’m on day four of the Start Experiment with Jon Acuff, and I’m already feeling the pressure and internal struggle coming. Start is all about getting off your bottom, getting moving, and doing something already. I get that, and I’m excited to do it or I wouldn’t have signed up. But, I’m not going to lie. There is real, honest, fear in doing so.
What am I afraid of?
I am afraid of failing.
So far my life has bee incredibly, increasingly ordinary. I have carved out a good, calm and loving existence in the world. I have made a home with my husband, work a job that challenges and inspires, and enjoy the people that have come alongside me in my journey.
Those are all good things. But there is a difference between good things and great things. Great things require risk. Risk requires being willing to fail. Failing means standing up, dusting myself off and starting over. And those are all scary. Because it’s been a long time since I’ve really risked like that – if I ever have. While I’m sure there is so much more my life could be, I am happier and more content than I have ever been. So, why would I change that?
I am afraid of staying the same.
I once heard that as long as you’re alive, you still have something left to do in the world. If you’re breathing, the plan for you isn’t over. And, since I still have a heartbeat and breath still fills my lungs, I am just as afraid of staying where I am as of failing. Because my life is wonderful, but what am I missing out on because I’m afraid to take the next step? What am I not doing because I am afraid to submit that article for publication, complete that demo reel or accept that leading opportunity? What am I settling for when I am called to not settle for the world?
I am afraid of dreaming too big. And dreaming too small.
Have you ever wanted to do something so crazy that you didn’t know whether it was worth doing or not? Is there such a thing as a dream that is too big? Sometimes I feel like I go for broke and then have no idea how to get there. So then I scale my dreams down to something smaller, and smaller, and smaller…until there is nothing left but my normal life. I struggle so much to make my dreams attainable that I forget that maybe, just maybe, they’re not supposed to be so easy to achieve.
The next 20 days are going to be interesting. I’m excited to see what happens, where I go from here, and how I feel about fear and failure at the end of this experiment.