Ever heard your parents say that you’ll only regret the chances you DIDN’T take? Well it’s true! Just do it! (Why are they always right??)
I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to sit around thinking ‘I wish I hadn’t gone for that job interview’ or ‘That meal was rubbish, why did I bother?’, I try and see things as an opportunity to learn. I’m not a cheerleading ‘You go girl!’ fist pumping American (no offence to my American friends), but I am a fan of self-development. I do believe that everything happens for a reason – even if the path seems rather opaque and winding at times.
I’ve started working in a school recently and love seeing the senior school girls enjoying their wide variety of activities, knowing that they have so many wonderful years ahead of them to try new activities, love some, hate some and find their own path through life. I don’t sit there feeling bitter and old about being in my 30s and how I wish I had done something else with my life, I remind myself of the incredible opportunities I’ve had and, to be honest, how much happier I am settled in my 30s than struggling with the rollercoaster of insecurities your teenage years bring. Every single one of my decisions, both good and bad, has brought me to the place where I am today. Even the negatives aspects such as years of ill health, toxic relationships and stressful jobs all take their place in the tapestry of my life. Those challenging situations have helped me take a moment to reflect, evaluate and make changes.
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, from something simple like trying that new recipe or calling that person who was interested in hosting a Neal’s Yard party (I hate calling people as I’m constanly worried somone will say ‘You’re a dreadful person, never call me again!’) are all small ways of developing myself.
Take tonight for example, I joined the local Military Wives Choir just 4 weeks ago. Tonight they were holding auditions for the opening solo of ‘On my own’ from Les Mis. Now there are a lot of beautiful and varied voices within the choir but I, like many, love the musical and had been singing away all week. I hadn’t rehearsed as I went along with zero intention of auditioning, however the little nudger inside my head said ‘go on. Why not? What’s the worst that can happen?’ Well apart from sing off key in a room full of people and be kicked out of choir for being tone deaf, I just thought ‘let’s do it.’ Well actually I didn’t; at first as they called the auditionees I remained in my chair but I could feel the disappointment creeping over me so I jumped up and snuck onto the end of the group. Heart beating wildly, I just decided to give it my all and show them what I’ve got.
Considering that life isn’t a fairytale, needless to say I didn’t get the solo, and apart from a nanosecond of the naughty devil’s voice saying ‘obviously i wasn’t good enough’ I looked around and realised that 19 other people were probably feeling the same thing so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. So I accepted the compliments people gave me (that in itself is another post in its entirety), felt proud that I put myself forward for it and enjoyed feeling comfortable enough in my skin to have even auditioned in the first place. And then I drove home quickly for a cup of night time tea to calm the adrenaline!
I’m so pleased I did join in; I would’ve hated to have come home, sat on the settee and wondered ‘what if?’ I can now relax safe in the knowledge that every day, in some small way, I am trying new things.
So, I challenge you to STOP criticising yourself, to stop thinking that you’re not good enough and just to GIVE IT A GO! You never know, you may be better than you think and you’ll definitely be happier. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take so don’t leave room for regret – just do it!
With love and encourgament,