I've heard a lot of excuses in my time for why life is the way it is (I've certainly made plenty of them too). Your desires and dreams are different to mine, what you need from life to grow and expand is different too. But what we will most likely share is a capacity to find a thousand recitable reasons why we're not in a position right now to change the limiting situations we find ourselves in.
The things that are most important to us can easily find themselves at the back of the priority queue. That's because the things that mean the most also have an unfortunate habit of inspiring the most fear in us too. The long list of excuses, whether we are telling others or simply ourselves, is the mask we use to cover the only real problem standing in our way...that we are scared to make a change.
This is a subject close to my heart. If I'm honest I don't think I've ever truly felt that I was living even a tiny percentage of my full potential. I've allowed fear of failure to cut short so many seeds of change before they even stood a chance to grow. I've been too fearful of outside judgement to allow myself to shine out even a fraction of the light I know is inside.
I'm finding the best way to combat this is to acknowledge the fear and carry on regardless, rather than being held hostage by it. We are all plagued by that little devil on the shoulder shouting down our inadequacies to us.
So easily the floodgates can open and a torrent of “what if’s” come rushing at you to sweep you off your feet. These “what if’s” look ahead further down the path and they have a habit of finding plenty of imagined potential pitfalls and problems along the way.
Am I really good enough to embark on the path I have chosen? Who am I to think I can be more? How do I know if what awaits on the other side is better than I have now? What will others think of me? What if I make a start and it's not enough? What if I try only to discover that I am not enough?
Many of the fears that we have are simply shadows, monsters under the bed that turn out to have been make believe all along. Yet there is no point in pretending that with good intentions and enough desire, life always works out the way we want.
When we embark on anything there is always the possibility that life takes another path instead, leaving us feeling anything from disappointment to full blown despair. It's not particularly surprising why the safety of our comfort zone seems like the best bet.
Putting off the journey towards what it is you desire can always wait. Wait until we are more prepared. Wait until conditions are better. Wait until all the elements fall into place. But in reality that day never comes and so the journey never starts.
So don't wait to gather enough tools until you start to tackle the job at hand. No matter what weaponry you manage to acquire, there will never be enough in your arsenal to win every battle you encounter.
Life will knock you down at some point, no matter how prepared you are. Don't waste time thinking that you are not ready yet. The truth is that you will never be truly ready. The only weapon you can carry that will serve you along the way is courage. The courage to make a start towards what you want your life to be and the courage to carry on when things don't seem like they are working out. The courage to face your own individual battles, either big or small, one by one as they come along.
One of my favourite ever quotes is:
“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” - John A. Shedd
Well, you my friend are a glorious ship waiting to explore an endless expanse of open waters. Some adventures will be plain sailing and others you will battle stormy waves that will knock you for six.
You owe it to yourself and the world to at least go searching for your true potential. Believe that the world needs what you have to offer.
Whilst you have no idea of what you will meet along the way...all that really matters is that you are bold enough to set sail!