**Edited and revised on 2/1/2021. In my ongoing effort to provide the very best insight, guidance, habits and tips to help us make our lives better, I am revising and editing my posts. In this post, originally published on 2/12/2014, I discuss the reason why I started a blog and how I decided to speak up instead of remaining silent. My hope is that my story will inspire you to do the same – Coach Christine

What makes my voice the voice to be heard among the many voices out there? Especially, when there are so many voices that are smarter, cleverer — is that even a word? funnier, wittier, bigger, louder? You get the point. Why should one voice matter? What do I have to say anyway? Are any of my observations, musings, advice, anecdotes, pain, happiness really earth shattering or life changing?

Maybe.

I’m not sure that the knot in my stomach, the dry mouth, the sweaty palms and the rapid breathing would agree with “Maybe.”

Every cell in my body is telling me to stop and to turn around right now.

“Go back. Be safe. You like it back there. Listen to me!! You know you don’t like how it feels when you do this!”

It’s true. I do talk to myself — alot! Don’t you?

Being seen is risky. It could bring a whole lot of pain.

It feels so good to wrap myself in that warm and fuzzy sweater– to hide behind… silence. As long as I don’t step out or speak up, all will be well, right? I can use phrases like: “I dont want to bother anyone.” “They are too busy right now.” “She’s going to ignore me, anyway.” “I dont want to seem rude or bossy,” and my personal favorite, “No one wants to hear what I have to say.”

I can also use language to keep myself from trying something new. I can say things like: “I could never do that.” “I am too old to learn a sport, a program, go back to college…,” or “I could never fly a plane. I can barely drive as it is.”

Sound familiar?

We humans can be so very clever. We have wonderful ways of telling ourselves the limits of who we are and what we are capable of doing; and the result is exactly what we want it to be: We are safe and secure in the world we have helped to create thus far.

But is that enough?

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – You’re right!

Henry Ford

Because if we got what we wanted, why are we so dissatisfied? And why is it that when no one is looking, we dream of a different existence — a different happily ever after?

Could it be that our human drive to grow is at odds with our human drive for safety? I know that has been true for me. I remember kicking myself for not speaking up. I remember asking myself why do I keep putting off flying airplanes, archery and taekwondo. Why haven’t I started a blog to help myself and others live extrordinary lives of meaning, contribution, and success?

Is safety all it’s cracked up to be?

Not anymore.

The call to grow has made me very uncomfortable — so uncomfortable that it trumps safety. While the doubts and the fears are still there, I have to begin.

Have you ever had that happen? The pain to not start is worse than the pain to start?

Then I say, do it anyway, because it feels so good to answer that call. Will you fail? Maybe, but if so, you’ll learn what works. Will people ignore you? Yep, they won’t think you’re serious. Will they laugh? Sure, there will always be people who laugh at you. But are you really going to allow others’ opinions dictate what you do? Not me. Will they fight you? Of course, humans are territorial – so what. You’re stronger than that. Will you win? Oh yes. In the way that matters most — self respect.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!

Gandhi

If you’re reading this message, take it to heart. It was meant for you!

So, I guess the time to start is now and the place to start is here. Fear is okay. It doesn’t have to be a trigger to stop me. It can be a trigger to drive me to become who I want to be – a person who can look in the mirror and be proud and excited to see the person looking back.

So how about you? What do you have to start?

Thanks for reading and I will see you next time!