Growing up, we all have dreams. We dream of everything that we could and should be; the things that we want out of life. Some of these dreams are fleeting, born from the whims of a passing life phase, but others persist and take root for the entirety of our lives. They permeate all aspects of our beings and give us hope for more; more than what we have and who we are. They dictate our actions and form a foundation for our futures.
Somehow along the way, however, many of us lose sight of our dreams. We forget who we are and the things we once wanted. Or even worse we remember our dreams, but choose not to pursue them for any number of reasons. Those of us who were born to stand out fall back; we choose a life of mediocrity where potential is as irrelevant as the color socks we choose to wear. We sit in silence resigned to the notion that our dreams are simply too big and beyond our reach in a world where failure is not an option.
We become so engrossed by the idea that it is better to embrace what is rather than what could be because of the possible failure that could come with it that we fall victim to the perpetuating evil of the word “can’t.” We say that we can’t do something because we aren’t good enough, smart enough, or simply don’t know how. We fall into a mindset where trying is nonexistent, fear of failure takes root, and potential for greatness falls flat.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am hardly an example of someone living up to potential. I have a college degree, numerous talents (some of which few people even know about), and glowing recommendations from people who know what I am capable of. Yet here I am working a part time job that I’m extremely overqualified for in a city that embodies wasted potential and the exasperating chime of “I can’t.” I, like many others, am falling victim to the trappings of life and the fear of failure; the fear that I’m not good enough to be more than what I am, which is complete and utter crap when I stop to think about it.
I’m talented, intelligent, articulate, and know whole-heartedly what I am worth to myself and to others. So when did I resign to a life of mediocrity, devoid of dreaming and reaching for more? When did I decide that my talents are nothing more than paperweights? When did I start saying “I can’t?” It’s ridiculous and it’s far from who I am or who I want to be. I think it’s time that I start living up to my potential. I think it’s time for you to start living up to yours as well. Why should we sit on the sidelines and simply watch when we could be at the heart of it all?
We need to stop saying “I can’t” and start seeing today and every other day as opportunities to expand our horizons, discover our talents, and delve into the possibilities of each tomorrow before we wake up one morning, realizing how much time we have wasted on fear. We need to embrace our potential, dream big, and do what we love because in the end we all want to know that our lives mattered; that we meant something to the world. It’s time. I’m ready. Are you?
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry
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