Recently I wrote, “What’s the difference between a challenge and a goal? Challenges are goals with fear and adrenaline added. A challenge has to scare you a little.” Jackie Tunbridge-Glacer replied, “Great definition, being the President of my Rotary club was a big challenge, with lots of adrenaline. Richard your talk and book are what pushed me to do it. My year as President was amazing, and I thank you for telling me to live outside my comfort zone.”
Well Jackie, a big congratulations for pushing yourself and becoming President of your Rotary club. When we’re thinking of doing something that takes us to the next level, suddenly there are fears and voices in our heads that try to stop us. There’s the voice of self-doubt, “What if I’m not good enough to do this?” There’s the fear of failure, “What if I fall flat on my face?” There’s the voice of shyness, “I’m afraid to speak in front of all those people.” At the same time, there’s the dream in our heads that says, “I want to do this. I think I can do it.” So there’s this constant battle between the fears and the dream. The easiest route is to give in to the fears, because that’s life as usual. No going out on a limb. No effort required. We just stay in our safe little comfort zone and talk ourselves out of the dream.
The other route is to push through the fears, take action, and start to move towards the dream. And it’s never easy. Sure, at first we feel great. It’s like those first few days on vacation when we’re going down a different road and it’s new and exciting. But then the car breaks down, or we hit a dead-end, and the fears start to win again: “Why am I doing this? I could just stop! This is too much work!” And rest assured, those fears will always return. It’s not easy to continually make the effort to push through and keep going, but it’s the only way to reach the dream, and it’s always worth it in the end. That’s why I have great respect for anybody who pushes themselves to the next level. So, here’s to you, Jackie. Keep on pushing.