I saw this amazing Speech (click to watch) that Jim Carey gave at a graduation ceremony. He talked about the fact that in this life, we can make decisions out of either love or fear. He said that a lot of us will let fear drive us into playing it safe. What are we scared of? Failure. Bottom line, every fear can be traced back to the fear of failure.
Jim gave his audience the example of his father. His dad could have been a successful comedian, a trade that he loved and was passionate about, but he didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. He didn’t think that he could make a career out of it. So, what did he do? He played it safe. He settled on what he thought was a safe career as an accountant. Guess what? He was let go. He failed at something he hated as a result of being too scared to fail at something he loved.
That really hit home for me. I think that right now, especially being fresh out of college and being thrown into the adult world abruptly, limbs flailing and eyes squeezed shut, we are all conflicted with the choice to act out of fear or love. Someone once candidly asked me what my deepest fear is. Without hesitation or even a second’s pause, I said, “Mediocrity.” Even though no one has asked me since, and maybe I haven’t even asked myself, my answer still stands true.
Am I scared? Oh yeah. Shitless. 99.9% of my fears stem from that internal battle between acting out of fear or love. I care too deeply about what others think about me, and their expectations, which are almost as high as the ones I pressure myself to live up to.
I have an awesome friend named Brady. He has the best insight on life and always encourages me to follow my dreams and to do what scares me. Even when I fight him on it, kicking and screaming the entire way giving him every reason under the sun as to why I shouldn’t be brave, he is patient with me and holds this unrelenting faith. I texted him with my worries as I often do (how does he not hate me yet?) essentially throwing my hands up in the air, running around yelling, “HELP ME, SOS, WHAT AM I EVEN DOING??” He responds with, “Talk to me, tell me everything.” *Get you a friend like Brady, guys.*
I babble on. I don’t know where to start, so I just let it all out. I tell him that I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like my chest could implode. I tell him that I don’t know how to make it better.
He hits me with the truth. He says, “You do know how to make it better. You’re standing on the edge of the cliff and you’re scared to jump.”
Okay, so maybe he’s right.
The truth is, I am scared. Here’s why. I have the chance to write a book. It’s a huge opportunity, and it is my dream. I think that I have known my entire life that I am meant to be a writer. I truly love it. The humble thought that the words that I craft and string together could hold meaning to someone out there sets my soul ablaze with an overwhelming sense of purpose. Most would call me crazy for even thinking about turning something like this down, but it really comes down to the conflict of acting out of love or fear. I’m scared of a lot of things that come with writing a book. I’m scared of rejection, of failure, of what my loved ones and others will think of it all. I don’t want to upset anyone, and I don’t want to embarrass myself. The thing is, if I don’t write this book, I will regret it. I know I will.
Like Jim Carey says in his speech, “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” The universe is constantly working to get us to exactly where we need to be at the right time. I think that we often lose sight of the idea of fate and the fact that our dreams can happen for us. We close ourselves off to the doors that the universe is constantly opening for us because we are skeptical and rooted in fear.
You are going to fail in this life. It is inevitable. I have failed time and time again. Ironically, those so called “failures” of my own have given me an insanely compelling story-line for my book. I may never become a successful author, or an author at all for that matter. I may never make it in this competitive blogging world. There are people out there who may even think I’m a terrible writer. I wouldn’t consider that a failure, though. Every encouraging comment I get from you guys, every email I receive from my readers, and every person that quietly reads my posts and benefits from my words defines my success. Failing in the pursuit of my dream will not deem me a failure. My dreams won’t die with a single failure, or even a slew of them. Not pursuing my dream at all and playing it safe will kill my dreams instantly. Playing it safe doesn’t protect you from anything, it hinders you from everything you want in this life.
So, as Brady pointed out, here I am. Standing at the edge of a cliff, scared to jump. Will I play it safe or leap out of my comfort zone?
On the count of 3, right?