What am I avoiding?

Day 5 of the Vulnerability Challenge: What am I avoiding?

I used to make the same wish every birthday.  I made this one wish for two reasons.

First, for almost as far back as I can remember the idea that terrified me the most was that something bad would happen to someone I cared about. And because my safeguarding abilities at that age were fairly limited, I decided to believe in the power of birthday wishes to keep everyone safe.  

Second (and I only realise this now), I started to believe that additional wishes would somehow upset the wishing balance… too many would force the wish fairy to drop one of the balls. Then something bad might happen and it would all be my fault because, instead of humanity’s wellbeing, I’d used up my wish that year on a Speak and Spell.

Sitting here years later, I’m dismayed to wonder whether I’m still carefully sidestepping the wish fairy by telling myself that everything’s fine as it is and I’ll mess it up if I wish for too much.

Although I’ve tried to build most of my career on coaching other people to dream bigger, I’m not doing the same.  I’d rather help someone else realise their dream than realise my own because it’s safer. And for a lot of my life I’ve been all about safety.  

Playing it safe looked after me and probably rescued me from all sorts of trouble at one time but…

“What got you here won’t get you there”

Marshall Goldsmith

Dreaming a big dream for myself isn’t selfish.  It’s not dreaming big that’s selfish.  Because it lets me off the hook.  It lets me get away with not setting the bar higher.  It lets me make excuses for staying small and not seeking out opportunities to be my very best. It lets me fail quietly and pretend it didn’t happen instead of learning from it.  

Dreaming is fun but it’s also a very vulnerable thing to do because revealing your desires reveals something about who you are and that can be scary.  

But I want to stop running away from dreaming the impossible because I think creating the impossible is why we’re here and I want to discover not only who I am but who I’ll become if I challenge myself to do what I’m really capable of.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. ironicus15 says:

    Odd – I’ve just been writing a small piece about a song called ‘Afraid to Dream’. ‘Afraid to dream, afraid that you may not be there, afraid to dream, without you life would seem so bare’. Ah well! Off to Salisbury today to see a friend with Parkinson’s. And I think you’ve skipped number 4, or am I wrong? – Lx

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



    1. Shâo says:

      That is a coincidence. I just listened to it (Betty Van)… the tune’s so upbeat but it’s a sad song. Glad you’re writing. Thank you for the heads up about day 4… my mistake. I’ve corrected it now. Only 25 more to go!


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