I have found people approach things in life this way as well. I am reminded that problems and concerns in life can make us nervous to “test the waters.” Fear can creep in and uncertainty can make us unsure if we even want to go “swimming” at all. Years ago I made the decision to quit my job as a librarian, and go to teacher’s college. It was not an easy decision for us and with my kids only the ages of 5 and 7, I was unsure if the timing was right. Many people were happy for me, yet many others were skeptical and voiced their opinions openly and unapologetically about the “foolish move” I was making. Teaching jobs were and are very scarce where I live in Canada and many made sure they reminded me of this. I was also afraid that I would be like a fish out of water going back to school, as I felt so old. As you can see I had lots of doubts and fears, yet despite this we still felt that this was the right decision. It took some time but I am happy to say I have been teaching for ten years now and haven’t looked back. The road to my teaching career was not free of challenges or struggles, but through patience and perseverance I have made it to where I am today. Had I listened to the skeptics, my story could have been quite different. Also to my surprise when I went to teacher’s college it was refreshing to see that there were many mature students like myself so rather than standing out, I blended in very well.
Fear is a very powerful thing, yet sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. I read a quote recently by Robert Schuller that said “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” It is interesting to ponder, because fear can hinder our true potential so often if we allow it. I love to call on students who don’t raise their hands. They look at me all bewildered and say “I didn’t have my hand up!” I reply “I know, but could you try to answer the question?” Sometimes this is too overwhelming for them and they decline, yet other times something absolutely magical happens. That shy and fearful student musters up the courage to share an answer. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong, yet that doesn’t matter. I love it when they answer, as it shows that a fear is being conquered. Many of us are so afraid of getting the wrong answer that we won’t even try. Contrarily though, making mistakes are great learning opportunities and taking risks is so important to grow as people. Even if students’ answers are wrong, I always applaud their bravery for trying, to encourage them to keep on sharing.
Sometimes failure can be just what we need to put us on the right path. Years ago I remember when I was going to get my driver’s licence. I proudly announced to my friends that we would go out cruising later never once entertaining the fact that I might not pass. Overconfident and somewhat arrogant, I went for my test and was informed at the end that I had failed as I violated a traffic law. It was inconceivable to me that I had failed and I remember going home sobbing feeling that my teenage life was most definitely over! This failure in hindsight caused me to take my driver training much more seriously, and I ultimately became a much better driver due to this disappointment. Not the path I would have chosen, yet a helpful one in the end.
Life is filled with disappointments and trials. We all have them, yet it is how we respond to them that truly makes the difference. Some may let negative people, fear, and failure immobilize them, while others will let the same circumstances invigorate them and leave them even more determined to succeed. I don’t claim to have all the answers, yet I am trying to be more like those who jump right in more often instead of always hesitantly testing the waters first. This is not to encourage being foolish in life, but rather to have a boldness to try new and sometimes scary things that are ultimately for our betterment.
The Bible says that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. God wants us to face our fears while believing that with Him by our side anything is possible. How are things in your corner of the world? How’s the water? Calm? Choppy? Why not take a deep breath and decide today to no longer let fear and disappointment hold you back. Say Geronimo and go for it! Believe me there are lots of others in the pool right there with you and they will be so proud you did!
Until next time
Psalms 56:3 ~ When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
Little Lesson Learned: Never let yesterday’s fears and disappointments rob you of tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015