Having stepped out of, perhaps only a little, the dungeon of fear I find that I am that much more sensitive to the fear that grips so many of us. For example, this week I came face to face with the fear of speaking truth: of saying what there was to be said, of accurately describing the situation.
Why was the fear present? I do not know for sure as I was not the one experiencing the fear. My educated guess is that those advocating the politically correct course of action were gripped by the fear of looking foolish, being criticised/ridiculed, of being ‘punished’. And I notice that I am not immune: in writing this I notice that the fear of offending is present and so it is taking something to write these words.
If there is purpose behind this blog it is this: to inspire me and you to play BIG. What does that mean?
– It means giving up playing small and in so doing relinquishing the roles that we are most comfortable with and which we occupy naturally and by default. What roles? The roles of victim and spectator; and
– Live a life of self-expression, express that which calls to be expressed. This requires moving from the safety and smallness of the stands (can you be any smaller than being one in a crowd of thousands of spectators) onto the arena and thus the spotlight.
Why should I bother? Why should you bother? Why should we put ourselves into the game of life, play full out, express that which lies in us calling to be expressed? Why should we face the hard work, the struggle, the pain that goes with being in the arena? Because, aliveness (true aliveness) is only present when I am in the arena! And I am human like you, so it occurs to me that the same is true for you: you are truly alive when you are in the arena playing from and for a possibility that truly matters to you, calls you, touches-moves-inspires-uplifts you.
Perhaps my answer is not satisfying, not eloquent, maybe not that clear. So allow me to share with you a passage from a speech that is eloquent and which states all that needs to be stated:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
If you find that this quote speaks to you then I invite you to watch the recent (Dec 2013) talk by Brene Brown – she is the knack of conveying what it takes to give up the comfort-anonymity-smallness of the stands and moving into the sometimes harsh glare of the arena: