“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
There was a point in my life when I felt I could grab ahold of the future and bend it to my will. I was only 15, but not a normal 15-year-old.
I was a trumpet player and fell in love with music like it was a god. Everything got pushed aside for what I could accomplish on my trumpet in the name of music.
I gave up sports, hung out with fewer friends, and I practiced. I would practice for a minimum of five hours a day, seven days a week.
In my sophomore year of High School, my dreams began to materialize. Out of hundreds of trumpet players, I landed one of two open chairs in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra led by the assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Michael Morgan, now the Oakland music director and conductor.
My career was beginning.
As all of this was taking place I was hit by something I never saw coming and that no one prepared me for.
What I hit, or what hit me ─ was my mind. What lay ahead of me was a minefield of uncertainty, doubt, fear and a possibility of failure.
We strive in all aspects of life to reach a goal whether it be creatively, financially, or relationship wise. When goals start being achieved and we rise above from having nothing to lose, a few things thoughts can take become center stage.
· We’re not as good, smart, or on top of our game as we thought
· Others are just as talented
· Now there is something to lose
· Fear and doubt
This is a mental hurdle that everyone faces in a variety of different ways within their lifespan.
My first experience with this mental block was in regards to me and my trumpet. Because of how I dealt with it would later affect not only music, but my life, finances, relationships, and my career choices.
What I didn’t understand at that young moment in my life, and what took me decades to figure out, was that all of us are afraid of something.
In our fears and in times of uncertainty we make safe choices, bad choices, and rebellious choices ─ but rarely good choices.
The minefield in our mind keeps us stationary from progression. We tread over the same ground day after day until a breaking point is met and jump into the minefield unprepared and frustrated.
Few are brave and bold enough to walk through that mind field with a plan and a healthy fear.
Overcoming mental hurdles in our lives requires an acceptance of a “healthy fear” to take those bold and uncomfortable steps into a world of possibilities that normally wouldn’t be available.
In taking this approach we become free and are willing to take calculated and responsible risks when necessary.
Why? Because instead of running from the unknown we can plan a free thinking approach instead.
This doesn’t mean failure won’t occur as failure is a part of life and an excellent learning tool.
But just because you fail, doesn’t mean you give up. Dust yourself, learn from what went wrong, and make adjustments.
Every day in life will bring new challenges, fears, and an unlimited amount of pros and cons. Communicate your frustrations with those in your life that you can trust, create tools to help you navigate through them, and come up with a game plan.
Be bold and don’t shy away from these potential opportunities like I did for so many years.
Why live a life that repeats like a broken record when we were meant to live for so much more?
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