I was reading through one of my old college journals the other day and I came across an entry from my last week traveling with Voices. For those that don't know I'll give a short recap: [I went to The University of Mobile where I traveled in a gospel group, The Voices of Mobile, led by Roger Breland who also founded and directed TRUTH. I had the privilege of traveling all around the world singing.] In my journal I read that I was on my way to my very last Voices concert. I write a lot about what the opportunity means to me to be a part of the group and The University of Mobile and all the places I was able to travel to. But I also talk a lot about my regrets. I write a lot about the things I wish I would have done during my four years. Here’s an snippet of that entry, "I wish that instead of shying away from the incredible talent that fills the school that I would have learned more from those individuals. I wish that instead of being embarrassed of my talent verses theirs that I would have worked with them to help better myself and the talent I was given. I wish that I had been brave enough to enter a Covers or to audition for more solos.." and so it went on.. This really hit me hard when I read this, probably because it's still true. There are so many things that I allow fear to hold me back from. I constantly compare my talents with others and it puts me in a state of silence. I'm too scared to speak up, to blog, to audition or to sing. I let the fear of not being good enough hold me back from ever trying. Rob has to remind me a lot that, "What's the worst thing that can happen? They say no?" a "no" for my type of personality is pretty devastating but if I sit around only doing things that I know I'll get a "yes" from I'll be missing out on some pretty spectacular opportunities that I would have never known were possible!
My prayer for all of you new students starting a new year and lets be honest, new adults, parents, couples, individuals with new jobs, in new towns trying new things DON'T LET FEAR HOLD YOU BACK. Just because you have a different talent doesn’t mean you have any less of a talent. I always had a hard time comparing my voice to others, but recently I had a really great friend remind me that "if you sounded like them then there wouldn't be anything special about you.” I want to reemphasize that statement to you. Whatever it is that you're too scared to go after because you don't feel as capable as someone else just remember that God gave you the talent and He gave you the passion so embrace the things that make you, you and go after whatever it is that you are thinking of right this second. YOU and your gifts can impact this world more than you know. So don't let fear silence you.
I want to encourage you to audition, to speak up, to sing, to dance, to create, to study, to blog, to work towards your goal and to not back down. Don't let fear take control of what could be some unforgettable memories and don't be scared of the "no's" in life. I hope you don't look back on your life journal and read about all the things you regret not doing because little ole fear held you back.
Photo by Elizabeth Looney Photography