The Courage to be Great

All of my life, I've been naturally good at things. I realize that sounds a little braggy, and I don't mean for it to be. But many things have just come easily to me. School was always easy, I was a good dancer, a good cheerleader, I could speak well in front of a crowd, you get the idea. But even though I was "good" at all of these things, I was never great at any of them. I never pursued anything with any sort of passion or drive. I always just did as good as I could without putting in much effort at all. I never wanted to be the best, to outshine everyone else.

Except that I did. On the inside, I wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. I mean, don't we all, really, want to be the best? But what held me back from the greatness that I desired was a serious lack of confidence, and a huge fear of failure.
Even though I kind of thought that I could maybe be great at whatever it may have been that I was into at the time, like acting for example, I never truly believed in myself. I would start to envision myself doing the task at hand, and then I would be completely overcome with thoughts of how I would never be exceptional, I didn't have the talent, it would be too hard, I would work and work and it would never pay off - basically, anything that I could doubt or question, I would.

And the fear of failure was just too much to take. It's why I never truly pursued anything with any real intensity. Even when I moved to LA to "be an actress", I barely did anything to chase that dream. I took a few acting classes, I went on a few auditions, I read a few books, met a few people - but I never let myself passionately pursue it like I knew I could have, knew I should have. I was so afraid that I would give it my all, and then I would just end up being average anyway. It would be five years down the line and I would have nothing to show for all of my hard work, and then I would have to figure out something else. So instead of working toward it and seeing where it got me, I just gave up. I packed up, moved home, and decided that I just didn't have what it took to be an actress.

I can think of so many times in my life where I had a dream, or a desire, or even just an idea for something that I thought might be fun, but I just couldn't make myself go for it. What if it was a bad idea? What if I wasn't any good? What if I was just ok, but couldn't really, truly succeed? There are already so many people who do (whatever random thing you want to insert here), what if I'm not as good as them?

It makes me so sad that I've spent 30 years on this earth with that mentality. That a girl who was so naturally good at so many things never had the confidence to make herself great at anything. That instead of really shining and standing out, I just let myself stand on the sidelines.

The great thing about this is, I've finally realized that it doesn't have to be this way. Sure, I may try and fail at a few things, but what if I don't? What if I try, and I actually survive it - and what if I try, and I thrive? What if I find something that I'm really great at, something that fulfills me and gives me peace and joy and lets me know, hey, this is what I'm meant to do? I'm only 30 years old, I've still got so, so much time to pursue whatever it is that my heart desires.

If you're reading this, and you have similar fears or worries or a lack of confidence, I hope that this can encourage you in some way. Of course I don't have all the answers, but I do know that there are millions of people out in this world, chasing their dreams every single day. Of course not everyone succeeds, but man, what if they do? What if there's something that you've always wanted to do, but you've been to afraid - what if you try it, and you rock it out, and you suddenly have this incredible life that you've always dreamed of?

I think it's time that we all go for it. That we reach down inside ourselves and find the courage within, the courage that will allow us to truly be great. I know we can do it. If you have a passion, a calling, a destiny, whatever it is that you believe it to be, I absolutely believe that you can do it.

So get out there and get to work. I know I plan on it.


  1. You parallel my life so well sometimes (aside from the baby stuff haha). I just reached the conclusion you did at the beginning of last year and pursued becoming a personal trainer. And now it's still really hard but when I do get small victories they are so incredibly rewarding and entirely worth it. I hope other people find this as helpful as I have!

  2. Totally tearing up over here. You know I could have practically written this myself word for word (minus the whole acting in la thing :)). Sometimes I have mini panic attacks that I'm not making it anywhere in life, but then I look at my family and my nice home and I see how far I've come. Really I have everything I could ever want right in front of me. But it's still hard to watch others achieve their dreams when I don't even have a straight direction for mine. There's just too much I want to do!


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