Have you ever been really excited about a new opportunity but never were able to pull the trigger and go for it? Was it because of fear, worry, or maybe over-analysis? And then, before you realized it, the opportunity had come and gone and you missed out.
As a young boy I really looked forward to the Heap Family Reunion which was a 3-4 day camping trip we did every year in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. I setup my own best waterproof tent for rain then just admire the view. Every day my cousins and I would grab our BB guns and head out in search of any small rodent we could find. We had some great adventures chasing chipmunks into holes and squirrels up trees.
One day I was hunting with my dad and brother with the best crossbows and guns we had in store, when all of a sudden my dad grabbed my arm and pointed to the base of a nearby tree. No more than 5 feet away from me was a rabbit. It was just sitting there looking at me, frozen in place. I had never shot a rabbit before and this would be the biggest thing I had ever killed. I was so excited as I raised my gun slowly and looked down the sight.
Then a funny thing happened. I got nervous! My hands started shaking and I couldn’t keep the gun pointed at the rabbit. I wanted to get the perfect shot between the eyes so badly but the gun was bouncing all over the place. After about 30 seconds of this, the rabbit turned and bounced away into the forest. I was devastated! My big chance to bring in “the big kill” and I lost it. It was practically within touching distance and I didn’t even get a shot off!
That wasn’t the last time I experienced a similar event. It seems like there have been many times in my life where a potentially great opportunity has come up and I never made the jump to go for it. I would get really excited about the idea of doing it but when it came down to it I would get nervous, over-analyze everything, and end up doing nothing.
I’m not sure if it was “paralysis by analysis” and too much thinking about what could go wrong that kept me from going out on a limb.
Or maybe it was just plain fear of the unknown outcome. Fear that I may lose what I already have if I reach out for something that might be better.
Whatever the reason, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of always playing it safe. Tired of missing out on the daring adventures in life because of worry, self-doubt, or over-analyzing. I was not put on this earth to travel only on the safe, flat roads. I want to live my life with moments of staccato instead of a long, drawn-out sustain.
I want to take the ups with the downs and in the end look back and be proud of myself for trying. I want to look back on my failures and laugh when I realize they were all worth it because I learned something about myself.
It has been said that a ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.
I will sail my ship out onto the seas of chance and opportunity. I will give myself entirely to the pursuit of my dreams and tie my success to my growth in the journey, not the arrival at the destination.
I will never regret taking a shot and missing but I will always regret not taking the shot at all.
Aim higher than you think you can reach and then when those big opportunities come, pull the trigger. Go for it! Life rewards those who take bold action when the voice in their head says “I’m afraid.”
I firmly believe that many of the greatest moments in our life reside on the other side of our fears. Believe in yourself and pull the trigger!
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