Every great accomplishment started with risk. Chance the Rapper wouldn’t be one of the most influential figures, if he never voiced his faith in God despite the approval of his fans. Ava DuVernay couldn’t have become one of the greatest black female Film Directors, if she let the domination of her male competition skew her confidence. If Jordan Peele listened to the judgement of going from hilarious actor to director, he would not have made history as 1st African-American Original Screenplay Winner. Making those tough decisions to discover the life you want, can be harder than it looks. Even so, you can’t allow fear to paralyze you into doing nothing. When the goal is growth, we have to take that doubt and sprinkle a little faith and confidence on it, to be open minded about new experiences in our lives. If you’re not optimistic, how else are you going to achieve greatness?

Your Life Starts, Where Your Comfort Zone Ends

If you told me a year ago, that I’d be telling my story through a series of blog posts, I’d probably laugh. It may be hard to believe, but I was once uncomfortable with being this vulnerable. Sometimes I think to myself, “Do I really want everyone to know this side of me?”. All of the things that I have hidden deep down are now brought to light. Writing? Wasn’t great at it. Being head guy in charge of a team? Never done it. Now I’m spending 2 hours daily on phone calls to produce something that  I know people could benefit from. None of this would’ve happened if I stayed in my comfort zone. 

In one my first experiences of uncertainty,

I had to learn that in those unfamiliar places is where I was forced to produce excellence.

In my career, after my mentor Derrick left the company, he passed down his responsibilities and projects for me to lead. Obviously, my initial thoughts were, “Nope, I can’t do this, this is not what I signed up for”, because this was a scary situation. There’s none to take the blame for the mistakes or the failures that could come. With all of this pressure on me to fill his spot, came the obligation to persevere. I learned how to lead and thrive on my own. Soon enough, countless opportunities started to arise. This independence gave me the courage to continue to learn new things despite the outcome.

You Have to Let It Fall Apart, for it To Fall Into Place

Are you willing to enter the unknown, in order for change to occur? Unfamiliar territory, can definitely cause people to second guess themselves. Just think of the time you went out-of-state for college, you were wary about it at first because of the distance from everything you knew. Eventually, you grew out of that mindset of this uncomfortability being a bad thing, you saw the overall need for growth.

When you realize life is not about how far you’ve got, but how far you’ve come, everything changes.

Opportunities and obstacles are unpredictable, but you have to act on them when either arrive in your life.

If you miss an opportunity because you weren’t ready there’s a chance that it will never come again. If you handle an obstacle in a nonchalant manner, it could take a toll on your overall progress. 

Speaking in public and talking about my deepest fears and circumstances, is all new to me. During the making of my first blog post, I constantly felt that if this journey every failed, everyone will see and laugh at my shortcomings. I feared my performance wouldn’t be up to par to expectations. These beginning stages are the hardest because nothing is as together as you want and when your vision doesn’t match your reality, it can be discouraging. The upside? The starting point, ground-level, allows you to have so much room for error. You have the chance now, to try things out, see what works and what doesn’t. Take on that opportunity like you know it will reach the highest pinnacle, if you contribute the right energy and time into it. You never know who could be on the other side of your decision. Had I given up on this opportunity, I wouldn’t have been able to touch lives, or share my experiences with investing, mentorship, or even speaking life into your peers. Don’t get too comfortable and content with your circumstances, keep desiring growth and change, it will come.

The Experience That Comes from Overcoming fears

Fear could be a corrupt factor in your life, if you allow it. It’s almost like a bandit that comes into your home to rob you of your valuables, which in this case, your valuables are your visions for success. This fear keeps you from desiring growth because you fear that your reputation could be harmed from a bad move. You fear that since other people have failed in that industry or taking that route, then the same could happen to you. That kind of fear can keep you stagnant. Once fear gets you stuck in that comfortable place, winning becomes nonexistent. How could you use this fear to your advantage? For me, I’ve realized that, if I never tried, and I always just wondered what would’ve happened if I took that risk, I’d be even more disappointed with myself. 

You will never know what good could come out of that situation if you dwell on only the negative possible outcomes. The fear of failure is really just an illusion. If you think about it, failure puts you in the position to learn about your weaknesses, so that you can get back up again and do it right. I also realized that this is bigger than me.

Knowing a purpose must be served, helped to push me past whatever fears were present.

Envision the endless possibilities that will result from just taking a chance. There are connections you can make, skills you can gain, or lives you can impact. All of these factors should outweigh the fear of failing and will result in higher confidence for the next opportunity that comes. It’s time to step out on faith, you will not regret it. You finally became Sergeant because you decided to go to the Marines, despite the possibility of injury during combat. You won “Miss New Jersey” even though you knew there was a chance the judges wouldn’t favor you for your stretch marks. You are now the #1 Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia even when you left that firm, with no money, to start your own.

“You can’t experience the joy that is extended for you in life if you don’t go.”

-Will Smith