When did you start being so scared?

I was doing work for a client which involved going to a school and interviewing all the students in their final year of high school. We caught them a few days prior to their final exams and a couple of weeks before they hang up their matric jerseys for good and enter a new, different chapter of their lives.

Speaking to the youth will remind you of your own; the years gone by, the broken promises and unfulfilled dreams. These kids spoke with excitement, hope and belief in their personal potential and the opportunities that lay ahead of them.

And it was with great sadness that I looked at myself and thought, I remember that feeling — being 18 and ready to take on the world. The world was my oyster. But somewhere along the road, I lost my way. My light dimmed, reality set in and I got lost in a career that I fit in but didn’t belong in. How did I get here? When did I start being so scared? Why had I stopped taking chances and given up on my dreams?

But I hadn’t given up. I had allowed fear to take over my entire life. It had me by the choke hold and I could no longer breathe. I was secretly suffocating, stuck in a life I no longer recognised. I had travelled so far down the wrong road that I’d lost my sense of direction.

Look around you, what is it that you want to do?

Seeing someone else come alive at the talk of their future, reignited my fire. I owed it to my 18-year old self, who like the youngsters I interviewed, once believed in a future full of possibilities. But I also owe it to my current self to do all those things I’d set out to do all those years ago. Even if it means going back to the drawing board.

I’m inspired to start over. I’m moved to do more than going through the motions. I’ve decided to make some big changes and show up in my life. If we’re not careful it’s easy to look up and 10 years of your life has passed you by. Look around you, what is it that you want to do? Decide to do it and then take the bold step to make the change. It won’t be easy, but it is something your future self will thank your current self for. After all, what’s a life lived without taking risks?

Picture: EUNICE LITUANS/UNSPLASH

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