Written by Karen D. Swim
Yesterday while driving through the city I listened to a talk radio program. The host of the show has a question of the day which listeners call in and answer. Yesterday the question posed was “What would you tell your younger self if they stood before you now?” Many of the callers spoke of time and money wasted, and dreams unfulfilled. Some answers were poignant and others downright hilarious.
As I listened to their answers I thought of my own answer to that question. My answer is one that I speak to myself regularly: “Your choices determine your results.” Yet, even as I silently answered, unlike many of the callers I do not look back on my past choices with regret. I am the sum total of my experience – good and bad. All have combined to gift me with the wisdom and insight that I have today. I am happy to own all of me, good, bad, and ugly.
In my mind the better question is what will you say in 1 day, 1 week, 1 year or 10 years? Your choices today will determine tomorrow’s results.
Today, we have dreams and goals, big and small that we want to attain. Some are short term and others will require a longer term effort. Yet, we often fail to align our actions with the results we want to achieve. How can you get in shape if you never exercise? How will you publish a book if you don’t spend time writing? How will you get married if you never date?
I have been guilty in my life of really believing I wanted something. I may have said it out loud, written it down, prayed on it and claimed it as my reality. Yet when I look back I realize I failed to take the steps that would actually deliver the results! Does it mean I did not really desire it? Or was I just really stupid? Honestly, in some cases it may have been a combination of both and in others I allowed those twin towers of Fear and Doubt to cloud my vision.
There have been times that those famous towers cast a wide shadow preventing me from seeing clearly. I was moving in a direction but it was not the one that would lead me to my destination. I would love to tell you that once you have bulldozed these nasty buildings you will never see them again but that would be a lie. Architects of destruction have sneakily erected them along your entire journey. They do not always look the same but they share the same characteristic, they test your faith and exist to keep you from moving forward.
If you are in that place right now, I am happy to tell you that there is hope. You see those towers lose their power when we identify them. Once we label them we can tackle them to the ground, whether alone or with support. When we call them by name we dare them to continue to stand in the way of our progress. They no longer loom over us but shrink as we laugh at their folied plot.
Today, as I look ahead I am determined to say that I lived, failed, and succeeded without fear and without shame.
So, let’s talk! Have you ever allowed fear and doubt to stand in your way? How did you overcome them? Please freely share your thoughts, opinions and ideas in the comments. The mic is open and it’s your turn. 🙂