Monday, December 3, 2012
Seizing the Moment
If you Google "leap of faith", apparently you'll turn up more than a few funny images of people jumping off cliffs. I couldn't help but laugh.
True, with leaping out in faith you never know what to expect...but I think that someone jumping off a sheer cliff, probably isn't the best illustration of the expression. Not the best marketing campaign for religious people, or those thriving on the Carpe' Diem fervor of youth.
Ah yes! Seizing the moment.
So, basically, I've come to some very valuable conclusions in the last year or so. Or, at least, I hope they're valuable.
One of these conclusions boils down to this: Don't hold back.
Don't hold back. I've lived much of my early life in fear. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of failure. Fear of mediocrity. I taught myself, from an early age, that if I never put myself out there I wouldn't have to fail. And it's true, you don't fail...technically.
Do you believe it's possible to not fail, but still be a loser? I do. And I was. I lost out on so much when I held myself back. I wouldn't apply myself in the weight room when I played football, because I was afraid I couldn't ever lift as much as my friends. I held back from trying out for wide receiver quarterback, or running back, because those positions garner much attention. I didn't want to lose in front of people.
I held back in school, because I was afraid I wouldn't be smart enough, and the thought of being mediocre after putting in all I had in me was too much to bear.
I held back in relationships. I never stood up for myself, because I was always afraid my girlfriend would leave.
To this day, as I pursue photography, and am surrounded by people who are (in my eyes) masterful at their trade, I feel like a shadow of a person. I feel quite small. Dwarfed by fear that the work I'm quite proud of, will continually fall short.
But you know what?
While this used to scare the shit out of me, it doesn't anymore. Learning to be open to criticism has never been easy for me. Being open to admitting I don't know everything about something isn't easy for me. Asking for help isn't easy. But all these things make us better. Stronger. They make us into the people we want to be.
But you'll never know this, unless you have the guts to seize the moment.
I may end up being either a superb, or sub-par photographer, but I will never know unless I throw myself into it.
You'll never know your full potential, unless you give something your full effort. Be open to criticism. Be willing to cut unhealthy ties. Be ready to be frustrated, and prepared to persevere.
The road is never easy. But the "safe" road will never build you into the person you desire to be, it will only turn you into the person who desires to be like the person you wish you were.