We can shun the opportunities of life, or we can face them. When adventure peeks around the corner, we can walk toward it or turn the other way. Last week, I thought avoidance might be the best course of action. But now I know better.
About a month ago, one of our vendors asked me to give a presentation at their annual conference. My entire job revolves around their software, and they had seen something I did on the platform and wanted me to share it with the world.
I was beside myself with glee. How exciting! I would speak internationally to who knows how many people. Little ole me. Who would have thought?
For the past few years, I’ve been trying to develop my speaking skills. I taught a young adult Sunday school class and agreed to every speaking engagement I was offered (all five of them). I did some acting at church, and I even planned to join Toastmasters, but then we moved and COVID hit, and I gave up on it.
One of my bucket list items is to give a TEDx talk. Not just do it, but do it well. It’s a stretch goal, and I know I have a way to go. I have been getting some practice in my new job, though, and I think that set me up to say yes to this presentation opportunity.
So, as I sat there facing my computer screen and waiting for the conference to begin, I thought to myself, why did I say yes? I could be working at my actual job and not standing on the edge of embarrassment. I could have played it safe—waited until I had more experience. But I didn’t. I took a chance.
It’s easy to talk about failure being okay. But walking through the failure is another story. And you have to wonder why anyone would put themselves through the possibility of flopping around a stage like a sad fish out of water.
That’s what I was thinking right before the conference began. I could have said no. I didn’t have to be in this situation, sweating and freezing and fearful all at once. And then, I realized something. I took a risk. I was brave.
I could have said no, played it safe, and gone about another normal workday, but I didn’t.
And whether I rocked the house with my PowerPoint or stumbled through the slides, I showed up. I did a thing I feared because I want there to be more to me than there is now.
And that, all by itself, was a victory.
How about you? Is there something you should say yes to? I’m pretty sure God has created us for more than what we settle for. We talk ourselves out of the more, though. We let practicality, inexperience, and fear guide our steps instead of who we are.
Have you ever taken a risk and come up thankful that you did?
I’m not sure, but I’m thinking it’s in the risks we dive deep into life. Those crazy new things we try, the times we say yes, the moments we let ourselves be uncomfortable—those are the stepping stones to adventure. And I am sure life should be an adventure.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Share them in the comments! (Come on, take a risk. Do it!)
(PS. My presentation went well. I flubbed the Q&A at the end, but I owned it and found the right answer before the conference was over. And even though it wasn’t stellar, I’m glad I did it.)