When the ancient Greek soldiers (or was it the Vikings?) traveled across the sea to do battle, they’d immediately burn their boats, stranding themselves where they landed. With no way to make it home, victory was the only option and the soldiers were unwavering in their purpose.
I, on the other hand, am wavering.
I’ve been thinking about making changes. I’ve gotten excited about trying something new. I started to do the research to see what kind of challenge I’m up against. I’ve been talking through my plans with Bill (who, for the record, is behind whatever I want to do as long as it will make me happy).
I’m getting in my own way.
Am I up to starting over? What will people think? Is this the right move in this economy? Am I being impulsive? Is this really the right move for me?
What if I fail?
That right there is the question that will stop this in its tracks.
I have left a trail of abandoned ideas and projects in my wake. I’ve quit or simply not started things because I knew I wouldn’t be good at them or they would be a struggle to finish. Flute lessons at 9? Quit after three lessons because it was too hard. Swim team? After competing for seven years I quit by high school because I’d have to work too hard to be competitive. I’ve even quit things because I’ve cared too deeply about what other people think of me. (Self-esteem: I have none.)
Avoiding failure is avoiding taking a risk.
And I don’t think I’ve ever really taken a risk. Not a true put-it-all-out-there risk.
It’s time to set some goals and attach a deadline. I have to name the worst-case scenario and put that into perspective. And I have to tell my inner critic to shut the hell up.
It’s time to burn the boat.