For most of my life, I had a terrifying fear. It was a fear that paralyzed me whenever I was even faced with its reality. I avoided every possible chance to face it and even worst, it was something that came so easy to everyone else.
Five years ago I encountered it one last time.
But this time, as I stood facing the swimming pool, I finally had resolve.
This time, the fear of drowning would no longer hold me hostage.
When I was younger, I was pushed into a pool. Almost drowning, I somehow recovered from the traumatic experience. That moment was always etched into my mind when I considered swimming. From then on, you couldn’t catch me beyond the 5ft area. And if I was, I was glued as closely to the pool wall as much as possible.
“Your body floats on its own!” everyone would tell me. “You won’t drown!” I was assured.
None of that convinced me to let go, however. I was convinced that I would sink despite the billions of swimmers before me that haven’t. It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I was forced to confront this fear head on. At my alma mater, if you didn’t learn to swim, you couldn’t graduate (talk about an ultimatum, right?). Our founder was so convinced that swimming was a critical skill for life, that he made it part of the requirements for graduation. Now I didn’t have a choice. if I didn’t swim, I would sink in one way or another.
It was finally time to take my swim test. I had one last moment to conquer this fear and while still afraid…I dove.
By a sheer miracle, I swam an entire lap inside of an Olympic size pool. I backstroked, font stroked and floated for two minutes to pass my test. I was relieved. This time, I WON!
Sometimes in life, there will be huge obstacles that come your way. It may seem impossible to conquer them and even though dozens of people have succeeded before you, your heart may still be afraid. Whatever those obstacles are, I simply want to encourage you….DO IT AFRAID! Take the plunge. Everything may not ever be perfect. But know that you are more than capable of overcoming every obstacle that comes. Michael Jordan once said, “Fear, like limits, are only an illusion.” The things, you are afraid of, have nowhere near the power and potential of what you are capable of. Fear robs you of today by lying to you about tomorrow. It’s not worth your time, your emotions or the incredible potential within you.
Whenever I face huge moments of fear there are three things that I always consider:
1. What is the worst that could happen?
Really consider this. Play out the most horrible situation in your mind from beginning to end. Doing this helps you to realize that it is probably not as bad as you think it is. Before diving into the pool, I considered what would happen if I did drown. And even then, there was a whole team of people ready to dive in and rescue me. I still wouldn’t die and could have always retaken the test. Think about your worst case scenario. Will you die? Can you still survive after it happens? Considering this really puts things into perspective.
2. What would happen if you DIDN’T do it?
There are some things in life you CAN do. And other things that you MUST do. Dreamstart for me is a must do. No matter what happens in the rest of my life, I am compelled to continue inspiring others through this platform. What are you must do’s? What are the things that regardless of the obstacle, you STILL will continue doing? Don’t ever abort a dream that was birthed in you for another person’s vision. I would rather spend my life knowing what happened than regretting what didn’t because I never pursued something!
3. Knowing your worth!
You are worth pursuing the dreams inside of you. To live your life not conquering your fear keeps you confined to a life of average. You were created to destroy average. You were made to be extraordinary. Fear keeps you confined to regrets, frustration, and mediocrity. Faith says you are greater than all of those things.
I know there are things in life that can make you feel terrified. I am working through one of those seasons right now. You owe to your destiny to push past all of those fears, take the plunge, and dive right into everything that is ahead of. It may not be the easiest thing to do. But it is definitely worth it in the end.