Good morning everyone, and happy Tuesday. Today I’m drinking peppermint tea. Although Christmas is over, it still tastes great for the wintertime.
We are coming into the new year now. One of my personal goals last year was to open up more, and I really feel like I have. I’ve learned that I end up much more regretful after feeling like I didn’t open up enough, rather than feeling like I opened up too much. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and avoid overthinking what could possibly go wrong. I would rather be the one who took a leap, rather than being the one who chose to hide.
Life is a series of risk taking. Of course you should be careful about the risks you take, and avoid being completely thoughtless about it. But you have to exercise a decent amount of trust. There comes a time when you need to just shut off your thoughts and take action. You have to have faith in that intuitive feeling even when there’s no proof. You have to believe in the impossible.
Sometimes you take a really huge jump and don’t exactly land the way you expected, sometimes you feel like you have said too much or did too much, sometimes you put yourself out there and end up feeling embarrassed, sometimes opening up to someone does not bring the response you needed. But that’s no reason to give up.
I have learned that, what’s worse than feeling embarrassed, or awkward, or uncomfortable for a moment — is feeling too safe, feeling too cowardly, feeling like you didn’t try hard enough and missed out. I know how both feel, and I will take the latter every time. Because when you take a leap of faith and it doesn’t turn out perfect, it’s okay, you can just brush it off and keep moving forward. But when you refuse to jump, when you hide in shelter, when you’re frozen with fear — you can’t move past that — there’s no recovery.
There are times when I choose to put myself out there and step out of my comfort zone. Times I let my wall down and become vulnerable. And usually, I end up feeling a little mortified, especially if the person I open up to does not return with the same vulnerability. And for an instant, it really hurts, I feel like a total idiot… but then I move past it, and I feel brave. And I think, “I opened up to this person, and they couldn’t open up to me. At first I was embarrassed, but now I feel better knowing that I was the braver person!” And I feel great!
And then, even better, there’s that slight chance that the person I’m opening up to will also open up to me. And we can both be vulnerable with each other. And in that moment, it’s like total ecstasy. Two people completely letting down their walls for each other. And no one gets hurt.
But then there are times when I’m struck with coward-ness — times when the other person opens up, and I don’t; times when the other person lets down their wall and takes a risk, and I close myself with armor. Those times are the absolute worst. Because for a moment, the other person may feel embarrassed, meanwhile I feel safe and protected because I’m on guard. But once that initial feeling passes, I am the one who feels like the loser. I realize I am not the brave one, I’m the coward. And that is a much, much, much worse feeling than a second of discomfort.
I am working on continuing to be the braver one, the one who takes the leap of faith. But I will have my moments when I’m paralyzed in fear, when I won’t lay down my armor — times of insecurity and paranoia — when I’m stressed, tired, upset, and worried. It happens. The point is that the person I strive to be is the brave one. I strive to be the fool. Because the fool handles awkwardness like a champ. The fool faces embarrassment and moves on. The fool is super confident and laughs at themselves when they “make a fool of themselves.”
Because the truth is, “making a fool of yourself“ is seriously just another term for “making a valor out of yourself.“
valor (noun): great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.