Daddy gave me this advice when I thought about running for student council my final year of high school. I had only joined the school 9 months before, and we were brand new to Canada. Every other contestant had been at the school for 4 years and, unlike myself, they had a very strong network of friends. Nevertheless he encouraged me to run, and much to my surprise, I won!
Mummy gave me the same advice when I absolutely refused to apply to medical school in Canada because of the highly competitive nature of the process. I was so sure I would fail, even before I had begun. My plan was to take a year off and apply to less competitive schools in other countries. Eventually I took her advice (reluctantly). Rejection after rejection ultimately led to ONE interview at THE school I didn't want to go to, because it is the best in the country, and I didn't think I would be good enough. I timidly went for the interview, thought I bombed it, but obviously God had bigger plans for me, than I had for myself. I was accepted and owned my 4 years of Medical School.
Fast-forward 11 years to a few weeks ago. I was having lunch with family and I asked my youngest sister why she had changed her mind from pursuing the (apparently easier) path she had told me she wanted to pursue some months ago. Evidently my parents had given her the same advice they gave me, and she is now going for something she didn’t believe she could do. I’m so proud of her and my two other siblings, for repeatedly taking the scarier, more intimidating option when presented with choices.
I am reminded of a quote by Erin Hanson, which has recently become a favourite of mine:
“What if I Fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?”
The fear of failing can be very powerful if we allow it to be, and it can stop us from going down roads that lead to our dreams. It is very tempting to take “the path of least resistance”, but sometimes this can result in a lifetime of regret. Really, the worst they can say is “No”, and you’ll never know unless you try!