We are all afraid.
Afraid of not being enough.
We live our lives constantly trying to prove to ourselves that we are worth it. That we have a place, a deeper meaning in this world.
That we are special.
But at the same time, we are terrified of sharing our voices. When the spotlight shines on us, that belief that we hold something valuable suddenly seems so obviously wrong.
And this is why we are so afraid to dream.
It’s not a coincidence we call them “dreams” – just like the mind-made illusions that disappear when we wake up – dreams most times get shut down and forced to fade away when we share them.
Because choosing to pursue our dreams, our bigger goal, requires us to say out loud: “ I know I am right, I know I am worth it” and to shut our ears to those who aren’t brave enough to do the same.
There was this one time, in one of the tutoring lessons I gave to low income teenagers where, after a lot of begging, I was finally convinced by these 5 amazing girls to tell them a story in English. They wanted to hear me speak another language. But there was this one girl that, as I spoke, placed her head against her cupped hands and just stared at me, mesmerized.
I approached her later, and she confessed how she had always wanted to learn English but had been told that it was too hard, that she would just be wasting her time, that it was impossible.
And I let her go because I didn’t want to give her false hope. I couldn’t lie to her and say it would be easy or that it would guarantee her a good future.
But I wish I could go back in time and tell her instead:
“Girl, you can do whatever the hell you want.
Will it be hard? Yes.
Will there be times you feel like quitting? Yes.
Will there be people who take every chance they get to tell you that you are crazy and that you should be doing something more “useful”? Yes.
But is it impossible? Never.
If i did it, you can too.
And I’m here to help you”
And just like I failed to tell her that. We fail to tell it to ourselves.
Just because we don’t see a straight line from where we are now and where we want to be, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
But how can we shine light on this path?
First, we must commit to the journey because you can’t find something if you don’t look for it.
Then, we must recognize that there will be roadblocks and dead ends.We will fall, we will feel like quitting, we will have to redraw the path.
And lastly, we must accept help. Be it a guide who has been thought the same path. Be it people who are also looking. Be it just a rest area. There is no shame in seeking for help, shortcuts don’t make the fact that you got to your destination any less worthy.
So now I turn it over to you:
What is that dream you have deep down, that thought that makes your heart skip a beat.
That idea you are terrified of saying out loud, of even saying to yourself sometimes.
What is something you are sure that if you told people they would think “you are crazy”.
And what would the next step towards that goal look like?
What is the step?
And the next and the next.
Because if you keep walking you’ll start distancing yourself from the people who are too afraid to leave the starting line, and you’ll find yourself closer and closer to those who share your dreams.
People will stop calling you “crazy” and start calling you “extraordinary”. Isn’t it about time we recognize that we have always been both?