Believe in yourself, not just other people

I’ve written before on my blog about how inspired I get by big adventures and taking risks. You know what it’s like. You’re watching your favourite team on a Saturday night (or like me, watching Nashville) and you’re rooting for them to score (or get back together). You’re watching your friend take make a big decision and rooting for them, regardless of the outcome. You’re watching someone (anyone) taking a big risk and your heart is pounding, you’re holding your breath, hoping for the best outcome.

You’re aching for them, and sometimes it’s difficult to watch, but you can’t tear your eyes away. What’s so strange is the emotional investment we have in others (often strangers), in comparison to ourselves.

The sense of belief, the sense that everything will work out no matter what the outcome, the sense that when your best friend puts her heart on the line and to quote Brene Brown, dares greatly, you will be fucking proud of her no matter what happens.

What we’re not thinking about, when we’re watching our favourite player score (I don’t know what’s with the sports metaphors) is what’s going through their head.

The adrenaline, the fear of failure, the desperation to achieve, the way they feel alive, the way they’re worrying about letting themselves, and other people down.

We’re watching them, like they could fly. We’re hoping for them, we’re there with them.

Yet when we take risks ourselves, we mainly tend to focus on the what ifs; what if we fail, what if we don’t succeed, what if we regret it.

How often do we pause to think of what if we do so well that we fly?

Recently I’ve got (too) into watching vine compilations on YouTube and I think I’ve found my favourite which sums up what I’m trying to say perfectly.

Check out the dog (in a life jacket). She begins cautiously, and look how, with a little encouragement, she spreads her little doggy paws and just fucking goes for it.

And all the way through (all of about 6 seconds), we are rooting for her.

We’re willing her to take the risk,

And she does.

We feel better. We smile.

Maybe this is just me, but I feel so proud of that little corgi, and I find it bizarrely inspiring.

So next time you’re wondering whether or not to take that risk, think of the corgi. Think of how you could fly.

And think of how you’ll be happy with yourself for doing it, even if you don’t sprout wings.