I had a dream last night that I was standing high above the ground on one of those tree-top obstacle courses where you have to make your way across from one place to the other by clutching steel wires and balancing on wobbly steel cables, or flying across on a flying fox. In my case, I was up so high I couldn’t see the ground and there were a lot of cables and obstacles I had to get through to make it to the other side. Although I was harnessed, I was still afraid about trying to cross over. I was clutching to a sturdy pole and taking my sweet time contemplating my strategy.
In the meantime, as I looked down, I saw enthusiastic people climbing up towards me without a fear in the world. I was going to have to hurry up and make a move or I would be blocking their path to get across. Still, I was hesitating. It got to the point where one person didn’t want to wait for me and pushed past me to get across first. I let them go and watched them cross without hesitation or any sense of fear. What was holding me back? I was afraid of failing, afraid of falling, even though I knew I was harnessed. Afraid that I couldn’t make it. Afraid that I didn’t have the skills to get to the other side. Afraid of the consequences. Afraid that I’d make a mistake. I jumped and felt myself gliding to the other side; smoothly and without fear. Just as I was about to get to the other side, I missed the landing and found myself being flung backwards. Back to where I started.
But before I landed, I felt myself being lurched forward again by an elastic force. As I propelled forward again, I felt certain that I was going to land with a splat. I had to get it right this time, but I didn’t know how. So, I simply surrendered and let myself fly across. This time, I landed perfectly, smoothly and with complete grace. I’m at a crossroad in my life where I need to choose whether to hold onto something safe or make the leap towards living the life designed for me. I know my gifts. I know what I’m meant to be doing, but I’ve allowed doubt to hold me back. Do I weigh myself down by what the world tells me is too hard, or risky, by the load of my responsibilities, or do I make the leap like others have done before me, without fear? Confidence can take a battering when you’ve made mistakes in the past and you choose to hold on to them. Instead of focussing on my successes, I allow my failures to hold me back because the sting of failure takes a while to fade.
In my dream, I was flung back when I missed the first time, but I was immediately lurched forward. I know if I don’t persist, I will always go through life wondering what was just around the corner if I’d just kept going. Life is an obstacle course. To get to where you want to go you need a plan. You need strategies to get over the obstacles, and persistence and courage when it gets too hard. In my dream, those that went before me did so with confidence. They didn’t hesitate. They stuck to their plan. What about you? Can you relate? Do you have a dream you’ve been holding back on?