There’s a song by Lee Ann Wormack that hits a chord really close to my heart. It’s called “I Hope You Dance” and contains the following lines:
“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Living might mean taking chances – but they’re worth taking,
Loving might be a mistake – but it’s worth making.”
I know from past experience that I take chances even when the voices in my head tell me I won’t succeed. I’m prepared to aim higher even when those same voices tell me I’m not good enough. I’ll apply for the job I “know” is above my station. I’ll sign myself up for the competition I “know” I won’t be good enough to do well in. Why? Because I know what’ll happen if I obey the cautious voices.
My life will remain as is. It won’t go off in new & beautiful directions. It won’t stumble upon hidden doors. It won’t have unthinkable adventures. It won’t change. I’ll stick to the same old comfortable mediocre path that I started on. Maybe there isn’t anything wrong with the path I’m on…but maybe my life would turn out better if I pushed myself a bit more, shook it all up a bit, yknow? Maybe I would surprise myself with what I’m capable of: it might be tougher-going, sure, but it might bring wonderful long-term rewards…such as happiness. It might make me a stronger/”better” person.
At the moment my worry is that a major chance I’m in the process of taking (a) won’t actually work (b) turn out to be the wrong move. Except there isn’t really such a thing as a wrong move in my life: there are set-backs, but nothing insurmountable: I make mistakes, I move on/around. The worst thing that happens in the former situation is I stay on the same path…which is fine. Won’t be the end of the world if the chance is a step too far, I’ll sort it out.
Still, to try and fight down the fears and uncertainty that just keep cropping up, I think about those song lyrics. And it helps.