When Playing It Safe Isn’t Safe

Sometimes Risk is worth it
Sometimes Risk is worth it

My daughter is fearless. She’s climbed trees two stories high hanging over a three story drop (that’s five stories if you’re counting). She dove off a swim block in a competitive swim meet at the ripe old age of five. And she has climbed circus silks far above my head twisting herself in and flipped over in an elegant inversion before righting her self and sliding to the ground with a flourish and grin.

My girl’s a study in bravery. Except when she’s not.

Girl in TreeWatching her struggle with insecurity around other people and with some things that really matter, hurts my heart. I see the potential in her. I see what she could be, what she could achieve, but she’s too afraid to try.

And I recently realized how often I do the same. I’m afraid to try. To risk.

I see it in how I hesitate to write something I’m thinking because I don’t know how you all will take it. How I fail to call a neighbor for coffee. Or how I hate being honest with real people about my struggles. Or even how I neglect to write the short story for the contest because, really, how many billions of people enter and what makes me think I will win?

And with my hesitation, inside my safe place, I can’t possibly win. And I realize that my fear, my selfish desire to be safe, actually destroys me.

There’s a saying that goes something like that which fails to grow and change is dead.

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So today I challenge you and me to accept the challenge that’s been lurking in our hearts. Take one step. Choose not to die a slow death of not living. Call that neighbor, tell one person something you struggle with, start the story, start that business.

Crawl out on that tree limb six stories above the ground, feel your heart thrashing in your chest. Be amazed at the view. Revel in your step. You don’t have to jump just yet, but you might just find you can fly.

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