Does it ever feel like you are standing on the sideline watching life go by? Or watching life as if from the inside looking out? I often wonder what makes humans stand by to watch, instead of jumping in to play this game they call life. To me, there appear to be several possible reasons for doing this, reasons that I’d say may hold you back from the chance to experience a more fulfilled life. If you feel like you are one of those often standing on the sideline, I’m here to encourage you to jump in! If I do say so myself, I’m an excellent source on this topic because I don’t hang back. I do jump in, I love to experience all that I can in life. My hope is to motivate you to do the same.
You won’t find me sitting on the sideline for any reason. Well, unless it’s because my humans think I’ve been naughty and I’m in a time-out… But I don’t ever willingly stay on the sideline, whether it be from wishing that I could be in the game, hoping that I’ll be asked to play, or from doubt that I’d even be any good at playing. Gosh no, I’m ALL in, happy to experience all the fun! When I see the first sign of action, I’m up and right in the middle of it, barely even making that choice to play. Sometimes I do slip and fall right on my face, there are times my attempts can even result in a sore paw for a few days. But that does not discourage me, I pop up and I’m off and running again, continuing on. No fear of failing, no worries about looking silly, and definitely no concern that I may not be good enough at the game. In my opinion, the only sure way to fail is to not play at all. There certainly is no guarantee of success in things that we try, but there is so much opportunity to find joy in the journey. Whether that journey brings successes or misses, discovering new things that may add joy to your life makes either outcome worthwhile.
How many times do you want to do something but one of the thoughts that I mentioned stops you or causes you to hesitate? Fear of failing, looking silly, or doubts that you may not be good enough at what it is you’d like to do. I say question those thoughts that are the driving force holding you back. Are these thoughts really true? Even if some of the thoughts have merit, aren’t you willing to take a risk to discover a new pleasure to add to your life? Thoughts and fears can hold you back from discovering new joys, new experiences, even from exploring our world; all things that you would miss out on if you stay on the sideline. It could be true that your first or second or even third attempt at something might be a miss, you might need multiple times of doing something to really excel. There’s no guarantee of one and done, but I can promise you the feeling of accomplishment that you’ll have after just taking that first step!
Sometimes I notice it appears to be scary for my humans when they are taking a risk to try something new. It may take time for them to make a decision to open that door and step through it. My advice to them, if they are struggling to open the door, just open a window and crawl through! To do what it takes to move forward a step. Recently, when my momma began a new workout she was nervous because she didn’t want to look silly or weak while starting out. She decided to take that first step, despite her nerves, to try something new. While she did feel humbled by the more experienced athletes, she also noticed something else. Not one other person appeared to care what level she was at and some even had genuine words of encouragement. Encouragement to keep going back, support that it would get easier, motivation to watch the change happen. I encourage you to just be willing to try. Be willing to even fail. You may be surprised at what you discover if you do.
Life doesn’t wait for us while we try to figure out the safest route or to finally come to a realization that we do want more. Life keeps marching on, and in the meantime, there may be missed opportunities, until one day we hopefully are willing to take that risk. Don’t allow life to pass you by while you hesitate on the sideline. Experience life. Choose to get in the game. As a result, you’ll be able to more fully experience all of the joy this life has waiting for you.
Come walk with me, if you’d like.