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One of my all time favorite Christian songs is The Anchor Holds. I remember hearing it sung in churches and at revivals while growing up, and it’s always been a hymn that I clung to in times of trial and tribulation. It is such a beautiful reminder that Christ is our rock, our solid foundation, and our stronghold during the times that we need him most. He’s there through good times and bad, and he’s always there to keep us from sinking…no matter how rough the storm may be.
Anchors of a different sort…anchors that keep from moving forward and progressing even after the storms have passed. Anchors such as fear. Anchors like self-doubt. Anchors in the form of worry. Anchors that echo the word failure.
I feel like I have always held myself back…prevented myself from really going after what I wanted for fear that I would fail. In high school, I took a trip to Washington D.C. with a Young Leadership Conference. It was a good conference and a great experience…but it was second rate to the one that I really wanted to go to. And I ended up taking very little from it, aside from the pictures and the memories of my time in Washington.
When I was a Junior in High School, I got a letter in the mail asking me to apply for Dual-Enrollment Program at NYU. It was a chance to earn college credit, live in New York City and work part time with some pretty prestigious businesses and corporations. If you’ve followed me for very long at all, then you know that I have always, always dreamed of living in Manhattan…even if only for a few months. I’ve never been to NYC, and spending some time there is the number one thing on my bucket list. I didn’t even apply for program. Because I was scared. I was afraid of getting my hopes up, believing I would get accepted, only to later get that letter saying that my dreams weren’t going to happen.
I never expect much from people. I don’t expect deep and lasting friendships from most people that I meet because I have issues trusting people. I’ve had my heart-broken and my feelings stomped on too many times in the past by people who claim to have been friends, so I stand-off to the side and easy my way into friendships. I eased my way into relationships before I met my husband…which resulted in me turning him down on more than one occasion when he would ask me out [thankfully, he was persistent!]
And now, I find myself holding back from going after what I really want. What I want, more than anything else, is to be a writer. To be a photographer. To be a designer. And yes, I do want all three of those things. I want to design beautiful websites, blogs and logos for people that reflect who they are and what their business/blog is about. I want to capture the moments of childhood for parents that only come around once in a while. I want to write in a way that people are moved, affected, and changed by what I have to say.
But I don’t let myself.
I hold back.
I don’t say everything that’s on my mind. I don’t always write about what I want to write about for fear of losing readers. I have kept myself from jumping into design head first because I’m afraid that people will look at my work and ask, What on Earth does she think she’s doing? And I’m afraid of failing miserably at photography. I know what kind of market photography is. I know what kind of competition I’m up against out here in Alaska.
And I worry that I just don’t have what it takes.
I fear failure.
The anchor’s hold…they grip me and keep me from going anywhere. They keep me nestled in my bubble of safety and complacency. And I’m tired of it.
Tired of being stuck.
Tired of being held in place.
The only way to let go, is to just cut the rope…and sail forward toward whatever is ahead of me. Unsure of what’s in store, floating freely toward an unknown destination.
Take a deep breath.
What are some of the Anchor’s in your life that hold you down? Does your anchor come in the form of doubt and fear? Or in a form completely different?
This post was inspired by Laura @ Mommy Miracles through her post Tied Down.