Monday, October 10, 2011

Don't Be Afraid To Challenge Yourself

Something some of you may not know about me is that I have a strangely irrational love/fascination for sailing and old wooden sailboats.  Yes, I know.  It's weird.  But seriously, I buy calendars, I have screen savers,  I even find myself sneaking onto Google and searching for little interesting facts and drooling over photographs.

Honestly, I have know idea where this fascination came from being that 1) I've never set foot on a sailboat, wooden or otherwise and 2) I've never even seen the ocean.  *covers face in shame*

I KNOW! It's totally lame.

Alas, this is one of the sad truths of my life (for now at least).  But nonetheless, over the years I've come to have quite an unrequited love of this unique (and from what it appears) nearly lost art form of sailing and wooden sailboats.  In my mind there is simply something completely romantic and timeless and dangerously adventurous about them and everything they represent.  In my mind they represent a time when the true journey and discovery of ones worth were based on the challenges you chose to face. No matter the risk and often without fully knowing the exact outcome of your course.  It was about the work and effort that was required and put forth without the guarantee of ever finding that treasure or reaching that destination.  For there is always something to be said about the process of learning to master something, especially something as majestic as one of these sailboats out on the unpredictable high seas (do they still call it that, the 'high seas'?).

But the fact is just like any challenge or project we take on in our lives there is always the initial fear of the unknown that we must inevitably face.  Especially when many of us take on this idea that if something is truly meant to be in our lives then it should undoubtedly come easily to us. Or we take that as "proof" that it's simply not meant to be.  Well what I have to say to that is...*pinch, slap, poke* WAKE UP!!!  Unless you're Aladdin with Robin Williams doing voice over for your blue genie in a bottle, than nothing could be further from the truth.  While some people may be gifted with a certain talent and skill that surpasses others that alone does not guarantee success.

Just like with a sailboat I know that there are things that I will need to learn and be trained on in order to better understand the parts and the proper way to sail. That is, if my true intent is to master this skill in order to (hopefully) one day achieve the experience that I've long sought.  Because I'm pretty sure if I were to simply run out this moment and jump onto one of this magnificent structures I would quickly find that I have KNOW IDEA what the heck I'm doing or how it even works.  In other words, I'm ultimately setting myself up for a big disappointment and more than likely failure.  Unfortunately, simply loving and possessing some secret passion for something isn't usually enough.  For just because you love something doesn't mean there won't be challenges to face in the process.

And I hate to admit it, but sometime when I feel like something will be too much of a challenge for me I'll immediately want to back off.  Because in most cases I'm afraid of failing, but not only am I afraid of failing, but even more so of realizing that eventuality of void and listlessness that would come when a long held dream is ultimately loss.  What would I do if I felt I could no longer write? A truly scary thought for me.

But as the old adage goes, "Nothing in life worth having is ever easy...."

Just like any pursuit in life, our dreams and passions require (and deserve) the same sort of diligence and focus that we give to the other facets of our lives.  Whether its education, sports, a hobby...all these things typically require time in training, practicing discipline or some sort of conditioning.  Have you ever heard of any gold medalist in the Olympics boasting afterward of never having to train a day in their life to get where they are? NO! So what makes you think you should be any different in your writing, your art, hobby, or any other pursuit in your life?

I wrote a post not too long ago called What would you do if you weren't afraid?  And I think I want to pose this question again...if fear were completely removed from your mind what would TODAY look like in your mind?  What would your future look like?

In mine...I would finally have my day on one of these beautiful boats after the proper attitude adjustment, training, discipline and conditioning.  Oh, and OF COURSE to be a published author!

Now whether these experiences will in the end live up to my dreams or expectations, who knows...but I believe one of the really great things about having dreams and passion is that they can still be exactly what we need them to be, despite what we might initially think or expect of them.

Happy Writing, Happy Reading!

And FYI! If any of you lovely readers are interested in helping this land fairing lame-o find her sea legs...please give me a shout!

Happy Sailing!


  1. I enjoyed reading your post and loved the pictures. Fears can push us forward or they can be a stumbling block. It depends on how hard we are willing to work. I guess we have to teach ourselves to become optomistic when it comes to our fears, such as when we fail, but determine we will succeed next time. I have had the fear of failing at being an author. Having my family and friends laugh behind my back because I failed. I am facing that fear right now, I have two ebooks out. They aren't doing great, but I tell myself the third one will do better when I have it finished. Good luck in overcoming your fears.

  2. Thanks Chelsea! <3 <3 <3

    Thank you so much for sharing Juanita! It's always encouraging to hear about other writer's journey. :-)