As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
I was once very afraid of change and more so, of failure. I was content to take the safe and steady path – I wasn’t always happy but I was secure and I could count on consistency. Being risk-averse seemed more advantageous in the long run, even if I often felt I was missing out. I’d look over at those brave souls who set the world on fire – the politicians, artists, advocates and entrepreneurs – and think “I wish I could make that kind of impact!”.
I knew I wanted to make a difference and I wanted to be heard. But what if no one listened? What if I failed? Was it worth all of the risks to walk out on a limb for passion and purpose?
Then one day, I said “Why not?” Why not stand in front and instead of behind? Why not take the mic? What’s the worst that could happen, after all?
So I did something that terrified me – instead of working for the candidate, I became the candidate. And guess what? It scared me and being vulnerable, judged and examined from every angle is not easy. But I did it. And I did fail – I lost. So I did it again – and I won. But more importantly than winning or losing, I stepped out and I was vulnerable and scared but I was no longer on that couch! With each step, each “yes” instead of “no” and each click on the submit button, it becomes a bit easier to take a risk. But make no mistake, each time I’m still a bit terrified. Each time, though, it’s worth it!
So now, I ask you to join me. Take a risk, even just a bit, EVERY chance you get. Run for school board, mayor or maybe President! Write a blog, op-Ed or even a book. Start a non-profit or submit your art to a gallery. Just do something that terrifies you!
As conservatives look to the future, we will have to be brave, bold and fresh. We cannot sit back and wait to win again – hoping the message resonates long enough. We have to take action – terrifying ourselves is how we spread the message and move the needle!