The Try

I was thinking on my run the other day that in times of crisis or grief or just being off balance it is not unusual for people to do what I call crawl under the bed - turn inward, make yourself less vulnerable - for some protection. In the primal fight, flight or freeze it would be the flight.

When I already am feeling vulnerable, it is difficult to put myself out there - in front of God and everybody - and chance falling short, disappointing, dropping one of the balls I’m juggling or worse failing.

However, being vulnerable in a healthy way is just what is needed in those moments of dread, anxiety and worry. The proverbial “try” is the way through the fear. The try is what gets me through to the other side. The courage it takes to try in times of anxiety and worry is what keeps me on pace heading through dread to wonder and straight up over the hill to insight and success.

This reminded me of something the great basketball player Michael Jordan said, “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

It’s the vulnerability of the try that is success. There is no shame or embarrassment in the try. When I am knocked off balance by life, the activities where usually I find comfort - running and writing - can feel too risky. I am using my energy just to stay on pace. My motivation is lacking. What if I can’t keep up? What if I write something that stinks?

So I hold back. Keep my energy in reserve. What I really need to do is put my head down and continue with what feeds my soul. If I keep practicing the things that inspire me, I know I will be OK. Yes, there is vulnerability in the try and there is power there, too.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose.”

There is power and peace in putting yourself out there and trying. Writing down your intention, speaking it out loud to a confidant helps you blossom into your true self and leave the anxiety and worry of the try behind. You can begin to make a plan and step through the vulnerability - come out from under the bed - and fill your heart with desire not dread.

What are you hiding from? Who are you trying to become? When will you try? How will you stop holding back and make peace with the vulnerability of the try?