A few months ago I went on a Segway tour in Washington DC and as you can probably tell by my face, I wasn’t having it. In fact I hated it. I was terrified. It made me nauseated. I’ve never felt so out of control of myself as I did cruising down a concrete hill to the Mall on a machine that kept leaning back and trying to slow me down. And it’s not that I don’t do crazy things in life. I climb mountains and canoe rivers, but something about this experience got to me.
My husband and sister-in-law kept telling me I’d be fine. That once I got the hang of it I would love it. I met these encouraging statements with cold glares and angry tears in the corners of my eyes.
But sure enough, twenty-minutes into this tour I found my balance. I grew comfortable. I was laughing so hard because I was having so much fun that I couldn’t see or breathe at times. We were racing on our Segways, swerving in and out of obstacles. Breaking the rules and having a blast.
Why am I sharing this?
We have so many opportunities in life to try new things and broaden our worlds and so often I think we make decisions in those first terrifying twenty minutes to quit, because we are afraid to face plant on the cement. So we just stop. We don’t take risks. We don’t push through our fear and reach the place beyond where the purest joy lies in accomplishment and perseverance.
I’m not just talking about Segways of course. For many of us this applies to our dreams. Writers often quit before they get published because in that first “twenty minutes” of rejections and negative feedback we pull back. We don’t press on through the fear. I’ve found myself in that scared place and it sucks. It’s like riding a Segway you can’t control and ending up in the middle of Pennsylvania Ave. during rush hour.
But don’t quit. Don’t avoid. Don’t let fear dictate your life and keep you from living. Find your balance, find your groove, and gain control. Because once that “twenty minutes” has passed you will be left with something wonderful and the confidence to overcome what holds you back.