Last week at my friend’s funeral, friends and family spoke of her determination, her courage and her love of life. As her husband shared, in the four years since she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, she’d been crazily optimistic and packed a lot of life into those four years – learning to ride a motor bike and getting her license, taking up golf, participating in the 60K walk to end breast cancer twice, succeeding in a high powered job with a major corporation. No, nothing was going to stop Val from living the life she wanted.
It does make you wonder what you would do if you were given the same prognosis – would you work as hard? Would you try to spend more quality time with family and friends? Or would you, like Val continue to learn and grow, perhaps travel to broaden your horizons?
What holds us back from doing all this in good health? Why do we have to wait until it is almost too late to achieve our dreams?
In a recent article, life coach Gail Blanke asks a similar question – what are you waiting for? She observes that we tend to put our power on hold until we get a signal or an invitation that this is THE right time to change our lives, that all the stars are aligned to make it work. It is almost as if our fear of failure holds us back.
She tells a poignant story of a young woman who aspired to be an intern with a famous opera maestro and she had written to him to explore this possibility. She got a letter back but her fear of rejection held her back and she never opened it. It sat unopened for years until his death, and only then did she discover that he had been willing to take her as his intern. What a missed opportunity. After that, she vowed she would never shortchange or sabotage herself again. She encourages other women to recognize their self-worth - “Don’t be a smart girl with dumb fear. Fear is nothing more less than False Evidence Appearing Real” she tells others.
How do you embrace your power asks Blanke. She encourages us to add up the times we’ve showed up big, not the times we’ve messed up. What’s your big dream? What’s holding you back? As Blanke asks – what are you waiting for? Go for it.