What is about the “fear of the unknown” that paralyzes so many people from moving on and trying new things in their lives? I grew up in a small town in Northern Georgia and the year I graduated from high school we had more scholarship money than any class before us. I am not talking huge scholarships to Harvard or Yale, or even athletic scholarships to play football or basketball at major schools. For the most part, the class of 1989 had scholarships that made good smaller region or state schools affordable. However, a very large percentage of people with the scholarships never made it to college or only to the Junior College down the road (and most never graduated from that).
I was asked on numerous occasions how I could go to college so far away. How far away do you think I went? To Texas? California? Manitoba? Nope, I went to Mercer University in Macon, GA. My trip was 93 miles from my parent’s house to campus. The main reason these people did not take the scholarships, I found out later, they were afraid they would not make friends. They had bought into the fallacy that high school was the best time of your life. I have repeated told high school kids that I work with that if high school was the best time in your life, then I should just shoot myself.
I find it hard to believe that the simple fear of a controlled unknown ruined people’s life. Ruined may be a harsh word. This irrational fear did not allow these people to live up to their full potential. It short-changed the individual and it could have possibly short-changed the world. Who knows what one of these individuals would have accomplished?
The same is true for our athletic endeavors. If the irrational fear of failure keeps us glued to our sofa, who are we short changing? Yourself for sure and on many levels at that. You could be short changing your spouse (getting sexier) and your kids (living longer) and maybe even some person that you have never met yet.
So overcome that irrational fear, get off the couch and make the world and yourself better.
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