Lately I’ve been offering complimentary workshops because I love helping people by giving them the tools they need to grow. But I still remember my very first one and the butterflies I felt beforehand. It’s kind of like when you’re getting ready for a first date. You do your best to make a good first impression, just hoping that the other person likes you…that you hit it off.
It was this same exact feeling, this excited anticipation, that I had felt before that first workshop. And it made me realize that I haven’t felt this way in a very long time. I felt alive!
In a commencement speech at Harvard, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, once said, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” I agree. If you’re not just a little bit scared, you’re not getting anywhere because you need a tiny bit of fear to push you forward, to help you grow.
Take a minute right now and think back in your own life, to the last time that you felt this good kind of fear and the butterflies that come with it. What were you doing? Specifically, what was it about what you were doing that made you get that excited feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Now the important question: Can you do that again?
If you can, great! Get it set up and start working on it. And if not, what is something else you can do that makes you feel more alive? What type of activity makes you break out in a little bit of a sweat when you think about doing it?
It doesn’t have to be something grand either, like climbing to the top of Mount Everest or jumping off a 26 meter rock cliff in Thailand. Maybe the idea of giving a speech to a group that you’re part of makes your heart skip a beat (in a good way, of course). Or perhaps the thought of starting your own business gives you the feeling of hope and possibility while still providing a little bit of fear in the meantime.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the day to day things we need to get done, our obligations at work and at home, and forget about the dreams that are in our heart. Soon, we begin to settle for a life that feels okay, telling ourselves that we have enough.
But don’t you want more than just enough? Don’t you want great? Don’t you want a life that, when you finally lie your head on your pillow at night, you can’t wipe that smile off your face because you feel happy deep down to the core? Don’t you want to actually feel your heart pumping?
I challenge you to come up with one thing that gives you that little bit of fear, that excited anticipation, and schedule it on your calendar. Make it a point to make it happen. Look at it often and revel in the butterflies, the anxious nervousness, and the feelings of being alive every time you look at it.
Then do it. And let your fears carry you to a higher level. One that you’ve never quite experienced before.