“Dying to know, but afraid to find out.” – Unknown
There I was, moving along in life seemingly fine. I was not quite on cruise control yet (if such a thing even exist), but I had no real issues to speak of. Sure some things could have been better, but perfection is never my goal. I try to live my life in such a way that includes a balance of realistic endeavors that I am always pursuing, along with a few goals that stretch me pass my comfort zone. It works for me. But then it hit me, like out of no where. I would suddenly find myself getting down and not seeing the brighter side of life any longer. For every great and noble thing I had accomplished, there were two to three failures ever-present in my head, only to remind me of something I had botched up in the past. The “should have” and “would have” questions begin to creep into my brain and I can easily find myself becoming depressed, wondering and beginning to doubt the actions I want to take.
I cannot always say what the trigger is, because many times it is nothing that is obvious to me. But what I do know is those moments without prayer and some type of intervention, will undoubtedly take me off my course and purpose. Some days I “fight back” is hard and immediate, and other times I succumb to the weariness and wallow for a few days before recognizing what actually happened to me. Not that I am proud of those moments, but sometimes that is my truth I must admit. I believe we all face these moments at various stages in our lives, and we all most likely handle them differently, but I often think about the timing of these thoughts or particular struggles, if you will.
There is famous quote that says, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.” Well what happens when we become our own worst enemy? What happens when it is not the outsiders we have to be concerned with, but ourselves predominantly? How do we fight this battle against self-doubt and unbelief? How do we fight the struggle of becoming more?
For every story of success there are layers of defeat and disappointments that often go unspoken or unknown to the masses. Not too many people who we would call successful or high achievers at any level escape the struggle to become more. Perhaps it is an initiation to greatness, a type of school of hard knocks. Or perhaps it is a test to weed out the unprepared, mentally divided or fearful. More than likely it is a combination of all of these plus more, but the one the that has had the biggest impact on me is fear. Again, as much as I hate to admit it, if I am honest with myself, at various stages of my life I have allowed my own trepidation to get the best of me. Instead of asking why it happens, I have learned to ask “what” is occurring within me in that moment. What is actually bringing the fear, doubt or uneasiness at that time? Is it the mystery of the unknown and what lies ahead of me? Perhaps it is what I do know and have a hard time trusting which direction to take, which naturally creates more anxiety. This too can lead to a multitude of answers, but left pending can become like a boat with no paddle, adrift at the mercies of the current.
So to prevent myself from spinning out of control for too long, I force myself to stop and think about what is going on. I consider the small voice in my head. Is he speaking wisdom, affirming truth, telling lies or casting doubt based on what I use to be, what my haters think that I still am, or what society says I can never become? My next steps literally lie in how I answer that question, even if it takes me a few days to gain some understanding and insight, which is usually the case for me.
I once heard someone say, “It is not the fear of failing that prevents most from moving forward, but the idea of us actually making it.” Because if we do, then what? How will we sustain it and how long will it take for others to discover that we might be a fraud or not as smart as we claim to be. That said, we must remain true to our convictions, speak our truth and live by it every moment of everyday. There are no holes in that.
I imagine that some form of struggle will always remain a part of the cycle of life, and some battles will certainly be lost along the way, but the key is to win to the war. The war begins in our heads and how we think about any given situation. If we lose it there, it will become impossible to gain any ground, but likewise if we can believe that we have a right to obtain and fulfill our wildest dreams, who can really stop us, but ourselves? A man or woman on a mission, empowered with hope, faith and an unrelenting expectation to see their goals manifest will never fail or never quit, because their struggle to become more is intertwined in every step that they take.