We've been robbed. The question remains, however, of whether or not we will allow it to continue to happen or step up and fight back.
I’ve been robbed.
And so have you.
It may not be that someone has broken into your home or car and taken some of your stuff, but you’ve been robbed. In fact, you’ve been robbed and may not even know it. The same thief that has stolen from me, has stolen from you, your family, and everyone you know.
And there’s bad news… he’s coming back. He wants more. He will keep on trying to steal from you and I for the rest of our lives. In fact, my money says that he will try to take from you today. He’s relentless. He never gets tired, satisfied, or discouraged.
You know who he is. You are all too familiar with him.
Let me unmask this thief for you.
Like the villain at the end of an old Scooby-Doo cartoon (for those of us old enough to remember them) we will see a familiar face. One we should have recognized all along as the one terrorizing us. Except for us, it’s not old man Wilson who ran the gift shop at the old amusement park. (Sorry, too deep of a Scooby-Doo reference?)
Who is this thief that has been taking so much for so long?
Yeah. Makes sense now doesn’t it? Think about it for a minute. How much has fear taken from you? A risk untaken, words unspoken, a move unmade that has cost you a job, a relationship, a chance at a richer more fulfilling life.
What are we left with? A lifetime of "what if’s?" and a million "if only’s."
We’ve all experienced fear in some way, shape, or form. Fear can be a good thing in his rightful place. There are some things that we should be afraid of.
The problem is: Fear doesn’t know his place.
Remember when you were a kid in grade school and you wanted to pass a note to that cute boy or girl to tell them you had a crush on them? What kept you from passing it? Was it a fear that he or she would read it, burst into uncontrollable laughter, show it to everyone in the class, and they would all point and laugh at you? That’s normal. (The fear, not the public humiliation. That’s just cruel!) It’s a rite of passage. It’s also, likely, an exaggerated “worst case scenario”. It’s more likely that they would see it and either reciprocate your 4th grade expression of endless love and sit next to you for a few days at recess and then move on, or they would throw it away and move on. Either way, it probably wasn’t as much of a “life-defining” moment as you made it up to be in your head.
That’s the point! That is exactly what fear does!
He convinces us that if we should ever muster the courage to stand up to him and face him, the consequences would be near fatal at best!
This is exactly why we have been robbed of so much.
That business you’ve always dreamed of starting, that book you’re going to write “one day”, that girl you’ve been thinking about asking to coffee, that new hobby you wanted to try. They are all trophies hanging on the wall in Fear’s basement. Shining testimonies to all the times he has won.
Problem is, they are not his. They don’t belong to him. Those are your dreams. It’s time to take them back.
I’m not asking you to call your boss and tell him you quit today. I’m not suggesting you jump out of a plane today to learn to sky-dive. I don’t think you should call that guy from high school that you haven’t seen in thirty years and ask him to marry you. I’m simply encouraging you to dream again. To ask yourself, "What if?” For way too many of us, we’ve forgotten how to dream, because, after all, if life has taught us anything, those are just going to get stolen too. What’s the point?
What if you typed up a one-page business plan for that idea you have and showed it to a friend for an honest opinion? What if you wrote an outline of the book that’s been running around your head for years? What if you looked up how much it would cost to take that class you’ve thought about? How much are sky-diving lessons? What if you’re not too old to learn to swim? What if you called that friend you haven’t talked to for years and started down the road to patch things up?
I don’t know what fear has stolen from you, but you do. I bet you think about it from time to time. Aren’t your dreams worth one more shot? Chances are if you gave it one more shot it wouldn’t turn out as bad as you think.
In fact, let’s face fear together. It’s always better to go with someone when we’re afraid, right? I have wanted to start a blog to encourage people to face their fears and dream for quite some time. I’ve been too afraid to ever start. (Yes, I do see the irony there)
I keep hearing the whispers that fear uses to discourage me. They may not be the same ones you hear but I’ll bet they’re similar. They always have to do with either not being good enough or everything has to be perfect before you can start.
For every “What if I found the courage to step out and chase a dream?”, there are ten “There are better writers.”
“It won’t be perfect.”
It won’t be.
“What if nobody reads it?”
Then it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect!
“You have nothing to say.”
This is how I know fear is a liar, I may not be always be right, but I always have something to say!
So with this post I’m taking one of my dreams back from fear.