I was out for my first mid-distance run in months over the weekend, since the Houston weather has settled down from summer misery, and listening to the podcast This American Life, linked HERE. The third act featured a young man learning to communicate with his father and included the son reading a letter from his dad. The whole episode is quite touching, honestly, but one line from the father’s letter really stuck in my mind as I was pushing through the aches and pains of getting my body used to outdoor running.
“As long as you are unafraid of working hard, there will be a path for you.”
I think fear is the biggest weapon we use against ourselves. Fear of not being good enough. Not running fast enough. Not losing enough weight. Not ending up with the exact body we want or expect. Fear of not being enough. We feel guilt and shame over our imperfections and perceived weaknesses. Dr. Brene Brown, fabulous author of such books as Daring Greatly and The Gift of Imperfection says of fear,
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
Fight back. Be unafraid. You will never be perfect. You will never be without weakness. But, as the father said to his son, there is a path for you if you are unafraid of doing the work. There is no guarantee that it will be easy or go exactly as planned, but there will be a path.
Just take the first step.