I’ve always been fascinated by a truth about Cross Country Skiing1. Not that I’ve ever done it, but from what I’ve heard, you have to learn forward in order to really move. Lean forward to the point where you feel as if you are going to fall flat on your face. In fact, if you just stand straight, you’re not bound to get very far.
When I was younger, I never leaned in. I always held back. I never acknowledged that I was a geek. I mean, if I admitted that to myself, it would have been true. I never fully embraced my love of computers or music. It would have meant a lot of hard work and some serious learning curves. In fact, if I’m being really honest with myself, it wasn’t until recently that I fully committed myself to really learning as much as I could about anything at all. If I had, I would have had to commit myself to truly focusing and that scared (and still scares) the ever-loving crap out of me.
Lately, I find myself leaning forward. Embracing who I am and trying to figure out what I am realistically capable of. And for the first time in my life, I feel like there is forward motion. Rather than standing straight and hedging my bets, I’m throwing some calculated caution to the wind, putting more of myself out there and accepting more and more of what I’ve always known to be true about myself.
But enough about me… this is about you
Lean in and screw anyone who tells you otherwise. You know you like no one else can. And if someone manages to see you for who and what you are, ask them push you even farther. If you can get to the point where you can honestly assess your strengths and your weaknesses and you are willing to work hard to get through them, then you can lean as far forward as you want without any fear of falling.
It’s going to suck, and worse yet, you are going to have to suck at first as well. But once you get the hang of things and once you give it enough time, things slowly2 suck less. You very well might fall along the way. In fact, you’ll probably fall hard and often3. But you have to in order to make sure you are really serious about whatever it is you think you’re looking to do.
Coming from someone who wasn’t for far too long, be who you really are. Much like leaning over skis, it may seem counter-intuitive in a world that often puts pressure on you to be someone else, but it is the only way you are ever going to move forward.