“Perseverence involves pursuing the path even when you can only see a few steps in front of you.” – Mike Van Hoozer
Have you ever felt discouraged shortly after attempting something new? You start out strong with determination and passion, but then doubt creeps in and you stall out, question yourself, and perhaps even quit. I hate to admit it, but I don’t like to try anything new (at least not in front of other people) if I don’t think I will be good at it. One ridiculous example of this is the time my in-laws asked me to play bridge. They are excellent players and I know nothing about the game. I practically had an anxiety attack when I sat down to play a hand. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than “learning as I go” and appearing to have no clue what I’m doing. I wanted to go off by myself, read a book on how to play bridge, and have some working knowledge of the subject before diving right in. I’m sure there was some traumatic event in my childhood that caused me to be this way, but it’s irrelevant for now.
Last week I was feeling discouraged about my blog and wondered why I’m even bothering to write it. I’m a left brained numbers person, not a writer! Several months ago a former colleague of mine, good friend & mentor Mike Van Hoozer said to me, “Tracy, you need to start a blog!” A what? Why would I do that? Impelled by a handful of friends I decided to go for it. I am out of my comfort zone and I have a lot to learn before I become good at it. Just the other day I was down on the whole idea of continuing this endeavor, when I received a message from a former student who I had not heard from in nearly ten years. She was enjoying the blog and wanted to thank me for bringing a smile to her face and unknowingly helping her during a difficult week. Wow! The encouragement she provided me came just at the right time.
Two lessons learned:
- Take risks. Sometimes it’s ok to dive in before you have the entire path mapped out in front of you.
- Make it a point to encourage others. You have no idea how much it will fuel them to continue.
What have you pursued in life when you could only see a few feet in front of you?