I’ve been facing a lot of fear and shame lately. Mainly, because I’ve been trying new things (and by now I’ve seen a pattern, every time I try something new, I face both) but also because fear and shame come out in almost every conversation I have with people about living courageously.
Our lives are driven by the duo waaaaaay more than we’d like to admit.
One of the main side effects of fear and shame is the temptation to stay small, fly under the radar, don’t make too much ruckus, stay within our sphere of expected. Because, if we step into courage and let ourselves be seen by being extraordinary, we will get pushback, a raised eyebrow, and criticism (the voices often sound like this, “Who do you think you are!?” “You’re not smart enough to do that.” “You don’t have a degree in ____________.” “It might not work, and you should only do it if it’s going to work.”).
These voices (whether said by us or someone else) scare us – scare isn’t really a strong enough word here, terrify is better.
So small feels safer, and so it is.
The problem with small, however, is that it makes us resentful, hateful, and bitter because we are not living our best lives, or tapping into our genius, and we know it.
So, what’s left!?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”