Wednesday, July 03, 2013

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

This is a question I have often pondered.  Sometimes it’s a hard question to admit the answer, other times it’s easy.  Recently, I was sitting in a potential clients meeting room and I looked up to see this very question on their wall.  I stopped to think about it for a moment…have you ever wondered?  
When I was about 8 or 9 years old my Dad bought me a poster for by bedroom wall.  It said “Dare to be Different”.  There were 20 apples in lines of 4.  All of them were red except for 1, it was green.  When I asked him what it meant he told me it was for me to always remember not be afraid - to be my own person - to make my own decisions, - to dare to be different from the rest.  This was difficult, as a young child my main goal in life was to “fit in”, be accepted, to almost blend in.  I would be horrified if I was pointed out of the crowd for any reason. 

But as I grew up, I began to realize the meaning behind it.  When I was 15, 18, 22 there were choices I needed to make - Choices that would affect the rest of my life.  I could choose to be like all the rest, or take a leap of faith and make my own choices. 

As a parent I see now why he put that poster in my room when he did.  Maybe he didn’t even know it at the time but it would be something that would stay with me for my life.  I have always chosen the path less travelled.  I got my drivers license on my 16th birthday (you could do that back then).  I left my home town for college as soon as I could muster the courage.  Travelled the world with my passport and a backpack and I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t change it for anything.

But as I sit here on my back deck, my husband beside me reading the paper, and 3 kids playing in the backyard, I can’t help but start to think.  ‘What would I do now if I wasn’t afraid?’

This made me think of a good friend who told me about a book she was reading.   Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I had just read an interesting article about it a few days before and was thinking about doing some additional research.  I clicked onto her website, and the first thing I see on her page is the statement “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” 

Enough said, I am going to read this book.  I will tell you what I think of it.  Until then, tell me, what would YOU do now if you weren’t afraid?