A couple of weeks ago, as we waited for the clock to strike midnight signaling the ending we’ve waited for for 365 long days or a hopeful beginning to the next 12 months, many of us made resolutions. We made grand decrees that we would start wonderful habits for ourselves or kick bad ones – we’d learn to play guitar or work out more or write that novel we’ve been thinking about. The goals are in place, we are refreshed, and we are excited about the New Year. Statistics say that by January 20th, 85% of us will give up on our New Year’s resolutions for one reason or another. That’s a lot of giving up, people. Consider this: what if we did something crazy this year and kept goals and resolutions intact? What if we dared to bet on ourselves, not just for the safe things, but for the impossible things that are really in our hearts and didn’t hold back? What if we quit asking what if and just went for it?
Kandi Burruss (a wildly successful songwriter with umpteen accolades under her belt), recently expressed in an episode of the show Real Housewives of Atlanta that she gets embarrassed when showing people her new creative endeavors. This took me by surprise. How could someone so successful, who’s been doing this since she was a teenager, be apprehensive about sharing her talent with people? What if she had let that stop her? “No Scrubs” would have never been written and we wouldn’t have had a pop-culture slang term to overuse in 1999 – what a tragedy that would have been. I still sing that song whenever it comes on at the top of my lungs in the car. I digress, but I think we tend to let so much stop us from, not only accomplishing the things in our heart that were presumably put there for a reason, but also from making those goals as big as we really want to.
Kandi’s statement struck a chord with me. I very much relate to what she was saying with one difference, I have let that very feeling of embarrassment detour me more than a couple times in life. Feelings of fear and inadequacy, that I’m not qualified to do this or it’s too late for me to do that. Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a leadership workshop lead by Pastor Mark Mellen. He shared a thought that really stuck with me in light of all this, “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” The things in your heart are there for a reason. It’s time to stop waiting until we’re “good enough” or “smart enough” or any “enough.” We should, of course, be as skilled and educated as we can in order to produce excellence in our chosen area, but why do we feel we must wait until we are at a level we deem expert in order to just step out on faith and try?
My challenge to you (and me) is this: this year, let’s not make excuses as to why we cannot be great. Instead, let’s understand that the gifts in us are meant to be used. Now is the time to get over ourselves and live the life we are meant to live by working hard and making fear take a back seat to fortitude. Write those resolutions down, put them up somewhere you can see them, and get to work on making your life the kind of life you see for yourself. When you are living authentically life is automatically a happier place. Trade excuses for action and dare to be great.
Kasidy Moore is the creator of The Fresh Factor (www.thefreshfactorgc.com), a personal style blog that promotes a culture of giving back.