In a recent article published in The New Yorker titled “A Woman’s Place” a question was posed that completely stopped me in my tracks and had me searching for answers.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Now for the rare few in life, this is a question that they embrace as a daily call to action. But so often for the rest of us, when we wake each morning and make plans, set goals or take on the really important decisions such as should I attend college, what college should I attend, what career path should I take? It’s often with these sorts of premeditated questions that some of us also set limits for our lives. Limits that tell us that there is only so far we can go and only so much success we can achieve in our lives. And so we give ourselves permission to set “standard” expectations, which later soothes our conscience when we meet these expectations and then allows us to reasonably argue the case that “Hey, at least I’m doing something.”
And I will readily admit that I have been guilty of hiding behind this frame of thought, often approaching a new idea with the pre-determined mindset that I would rather set my standards low, than push myself and risk having the burden of a failure on my conscience.
But if you were to completely remove the “fear factor” out of the equation, where would you be? How far could you go if you approached each day ready to take on the world with a mindset absent of fear? What would your future, what would your world look like with that frame of possibility?
In her commencement address to the 2011 graduating class of Barnard College, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg offered these words for thought.
|Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO|
“We try at Facebook to keep all of our employees thinking big all day. We have these posters in red we put around the walls. One says, “Fortune favors the bold.” Another says, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” That question echoes Barnard alum Anna Quindlen, who said that she majored in unafraid. Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire. Let the barriers you face—and there will be barriers—be external, not internal. Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try.”
So…what would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?
Happy Writing & Happy Reading!