The Next Step

Everyone has talents and abilities that allow them to do things only they are uniquely qualified to do.  I believe most of us don’t take the time to nurture and grow those abilities, thus missing out on many opportunities.  I’m constantly asking myself what stops me from taking the next step in the development of my unique gifts.  For me it usually boils down to one thing: fear of failure.

I have a huge fear of failure.  There I said it.  And very often, that fear keeps me from going for something because I know there’s a chance I could potentially fail.  I know that may sound ridiculous, being afraid of failing at something before even attempting it, but it’s totally true.  That’s why, instead of things taking me days to finish, they end up taking me months if not years!

When I look back on the last decade of my life and all the steps I’ve taken on my journey as a songwriter, I can see so many times that I delayed taking the next step because I was afraid to fail.  I’ve started so many songs, only to shelve them after writing the first verse and part of a chorus because I was too worried they might not end up being very good.  I convinced myself that as long as a song stayed unfinished I didn’t have to admit that I wasn’t able to make it meet the expectation I had for it when I started.

I’ve been given opportunities to co-write with some incredibly talented writers, and making myself pick up the phone that first time was an extremely scary thing.  I have learned that the longer I wait to follow through the longer fear has to work its way into my mind and heart. If I do something right when the opportunity presents itself and not allow time for that fear cycle to begin, I find it easier and a much less painful process.  Amazing how that works!

There is a never ending amount of “next steps” in life, and the more I learn about myself, the more I’ve come to realize that if I don’t take that step right away, then I run the risk of letting fear stop me from ever taking it at all.  That’s something I don’t want to ever let happen, so my challenge every day is to identify what those next steps are, fight the butterflies, and just go for it.  And, even when I do fail, it’s never as scary as I imagined it’d be. “The next step is waiting to be made, sometimes it’s rushed and sometimes it’s delayed  Some are over confident, others are afraid But the next step’s always waiting to be made- From: “The Next Step”

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