“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.” - Dale Carnegie
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike? Without training wheels? Maybe there was an adult holding on to you as you started forward. Slowly pushing down the pedals to gain speed, worrying about falling over. Suddenly, the hands holding you were no longer there, and you were on your own!
Do you remember the first time asking someone for a job? Maybe it was filling out an application at a restaurant. Maybe it was talking to the owner of the local convenience store. You might have gotten the job. Or maybe you didn’t get the first job, but tried again, and were hired by the next, or the tenth place where you applied.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? You were young, confused and unsure. Perhaps your partner felt the same way. For most of us, that relationship ended. No matter how nice each person tried being to the other, hearts were broken and feelings were hurt. But we tried again. And again.
There are so many “first times” in our lives. The first day of school. The first time driving a car, taking a bus by ourselves, or trying out for a spot on the team, a part in the play, or being a member of the band or drum corps. Sometimes, we were lucky and had an amazing, positive experience. Sometimes, we suffered loss, frustration or embarrassment. And then we moved on.
We didn’t know what the results would be when we started. It could have been the joy of the wind in our hair or the pain of the asphalt on our legs. We might have been given a job or told to look somewhere else. Uncertainty abounded. But we made the attempt, and continued our efforts until we achieved success.
Tomorrow, or some day in the future, we’ll be tested again. Initially, we might be afraid of taking on the challenge. We may think we don’t have the skills or the strength needed to succeed. We fear failure. To bolster our courage, we seek out role models – other people who’ve overcome the odds.
Instead of looking elsewhere for inspiration, we should look inward. We need to remember the moments when we were courageous in the past. Focus on the times when we faced fear, and went forward anyway. Recognize that we have the strength and the fortitude to overcome any barriers that life may put before us.
We’re capable. We’re strong. We will succeed. We’ve proven it in the past. Now, we must believe in ourselves as we face the future.