I have been scared many, many, times in my life time.
I was scared to sing in the 5th grade school talent show.
I'm pretty sure my voice cracked.
I was scared on the first day of 6th grade.
Would the kids tease me for my camo shirt and pleather skirt?
I was scared to run for 9th grade student body.
I lost. All of my friends made it.
I was scared to try out for cheerleading sophomore year.
I didn't make the squad. All of my friends made it.
I was scared to run for sophomore student body, right after I found out I didn't make cheer.
I was thrilled when they announced I had won!
I was scared to try out for cheerleading another year. What if I didn't make it again?
I couldn't believe my eyes when the screaming girls ran into my house and told me I had made it!
I was scared to ask a boy I really liked to the Preference dance.
He said "Yes" only to take off with his friends and leave me at the dance .
I was scared to ask another boy I liked to the Preference dance the following year.
He said "No"- someone else had already asked him.
I was scared to audition for the leading role in the school musical.
I got the part!
I was scared when my teacher said at our first rehearsal "Now, Jacy, if you are poopy, the whole show will be poopy. You can't be poopy!"
I'm pretty sure I tripped at least 5 times on opening night, the flying gear didn't work when it was supposed to and I may have forgotten a line or two or three. But people still gave our cast and crew a standing ovation- it was a successful show!
I was scared to graduate highschool.
What was next for me?
I was scared when I packed my car and drove up to my first year of college.
I made some choices that weren't that great, and I made some of the most rewarding choices.
I was scared to get married the first time.
I was so young.
I was sacred to have a baby.
I dreaded the pain of giving birth.
I was scared when they handed me my 6lb human being and expected me to know how to care for him.
I didn't have the slightest idea how to be a mother. I had never even been around a newborn before.
I was scared on "discovery day".
I knew our life would be entirely different from that moment on.
I was scared the day I sat in a lawyers office and started the divorce process.
Only 5 years and my marriage had failed. My insides screamed "FAILURE!"
I was scared to be a single mom.
Need I say more?
I was scared to go on that first date post-divorce.
Me dating again? Really?
I was really scared when I started to feel more for Seth.
This meant I was allowing myself to trust again.
I was even more scared when I wanted to tell him that I loved him.
This meant I might actually be willing to open my heart up again.
I was scared to get married for the second time.
What if this marriage fails? What if I get hurt again?
I was scared to start a blog.
What if people don't like me? What if people leave nasty comments?
I was scared when my Grammie passed away.
I know I'll see her again, but what if.... what if I don't?
I was scared to accept the invitation to speak at the UCAP conference.
I am excited and honored! But still... I am nervous. What if I am disappointment?
I am scared to be the director of a nonprofit organization.
The legal side of things, the business side of things, the actual mission side of things. It is overwhelming.
I am scared to have more children someday.
What if the same thing happens again? What if I have children and it all falls apart again?
I have been scared so many different times in my life. And each and every time, no matter what the situation is (was), it feels like it is the scariest. And each and every time, I have been afraid to fail and afraid of what other's might think of me. But regardless of how I felt or how scared I was or whatever anyone thought of me, the outcome has always been a consistent mix: I have lost some things, I have won some things, I have been heartbroken at times, I have been joyous at times.
I remember watching a commercial during the NBA finals a long time ago and hearing Michael Jordan say this:
“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I'm not really sure I understood what it really meant back then.... but now I think do.... after almost 30 years of ups and downs... I think I get it.
The one thing I have realized about life... the one thing I have realized most specially in these last 4 years of my life is that.... I don't EVER want to give up! I would rather be scared out of my mind and TRYING rather than in a stand still, afraid of my own fear, the fear of the unknown, the fear of failing, the fear of losing or the fear of messing up. I don't ever want my own fear to be what cripples me.
Being scared is scary. But being scared is a valuable emotion.
Because when we are scared, it means that we are vulnerable to all of the possibilities- the good and the bad. When we are scared, in that very uncomfortable territory, we allow a more exuberant and defining type of growth to take place. This opens a new and very promising door so that whatever the outcome, the next time we try, we are even more prepared, confident and stable. We may win. We may lose. Some may be big, important things. Some may be small, insignificant things. But that's not the point. The point is that we tried. The point is that we never gave up! The point is that won't settle for treading the same old water because we are afraid.
I think John Wayne says it so well:
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."
Image Credit (my dear old friend from high school- thanks Angie ;)