The Courage to Try--and Try Again


“Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.”

~Julia Cameron


I can remember as a kid the first time I ever fell off a balance beam and had the wind completely knocked out of me. I was about seven--laying sideways in the dirt and seriously wondering if I was going to die since I couldn't seem to gasp in any air. A boy in my class finally walked up and (in his own way) calmed me.

"Haven't you ever had the wind knocked out of you before? (In an accusing tone--as if this should've happened to me long before then.) It's all right. You're going to be fine in a minute..."

This made me relax, and I was able to start breathing again faster than if I had remained panicked. It wasn't the same day, but I did get back on that same beam again. At the time, it didn't have anything to do with conscious determination or overcoming fear. It's just I knew if it happened again that I'd survive and get back up again. That was enough.

As an adult, life has some similarities to walking that beam. Even when you know your dream and place it out in front of your life to pursue, it doesn't automatically make you immune to falling down. At first, you may even make more mistakes and have more failures than most people--because you're doing things that most people aren't willing to do with their lives. Learning and growth as a person come out of that--and success. Nobody ever shared this with me in high school or college. It was never directly said, but I basically grew up with the message of, "Avoid potential embarrassment at all costs--even if it means sitting on the sidelines your whole life."

Sometimes a life circumstance can blindside and knock the wind out of you, too--a business setback, a job loss, a personal or family illness, a death of someone close to you--and it can be terrifying and painful in the middle of it...but staying long-term in a state of fear and panic compounds the situation. You have to learn to breathe again and realize that you're going to be all right. This takes time and healing, but you have to choose to get back up again.

If you spend all your time worrying about the potential of falling and keep looking down at your current situation, it's difficult (if not impossible) to focus on your dreams and goals to the point it can hinder your progress. This isn't about being reckless or risk-taking for its own sake. When you're going for something that has real meaning and that matters, there's a joy even in the journey that's powerful enough to override fear--if you allow it.

I've loved writing for most of my life and have been pursuing it seriously since 2006. Not everything I've ever tried has worked out right, but some things have--because I was willing to try and just didn't give up. I know we're in an overall economic environment right now where encouragement can be hard to take in over all the messages basically telling people the exact opposite. You have to make personal choices on who and what you want to believe about your own life, but I listened to people who shared these concepts with me just like I'm doing right now.

From a spiritual standpoint, as a Christian I had to learn that God cares about people's dreams and wants us to prosper in life--not only from a financial standpoint but in every area of it. This was something I had a lot of misconceptions about growing up (I didn't grow up in church)--and it took a few years of actually seeing success concepts in the Bible and applying what I'd learned from our pastors for things to start working for me. Over time, it's made me want to reach out beyond my own personal work and help as many other writers as I can. I'm not perfect and am still learning on a daily basis, too--but I want to see other people succeed and spend the rest of my life paying forward what was done for me.

Don't give up. Your dream matters, and the success of it has the potential to not only change your life but can also give you the opportunity to lift up and impact the people around you.