by Karen D. Swim
Photo Credit: Kimba, Flickr
As the mighty winds blew and the rains beat down, a Father grabbed his young daughter and stood her in the doorway in the hall. With his hand upon her trembling shoulder he looked into her eyes and said, "Daddy has to leave but I want you to stand right here. Do not move, no matter what happens. Her little heart beat faster as she drew strength from her Father's voice. Nodding her head, she squared her shoulders and stood.
Through wind and rain she stood. Debris scattered around the house and she stood. The storm finally ended and still she stood. A police officer picked his way through the debris and crossed what had been the threshold of her home. Spotting the little girl, his eyes grew wide, "Honey, how did you survive this storm?" The little girl declared, "My daddy told me to stand right here and not move."
Before we can move forward toward our goals we must be able to firmly stand our ground. Like the little girl, we have to find that place where we can stand with confidence when the winds are raging and the rain is beating on our roof. We must stand when the voices within and around us try to move us to the left or to the right. You don't have the credentials to do that. That sounds risky, are you sure you aren't making a mistake. The economy is bad. Be sensible, keep your day job and do this on the side. Yeah, you know the voices. The well-meaning friends who want the best for you. The colleagues who are just trying to spare you from making the biggest mistake of your life. Your own fears, doubts and insecurities. But, before you can move forward you have to learn to stand.
When I got the idea to start my business, I was newly widowed and broke. We had lived off our savings for 3 1/2 years while I stayed planted by my husband's side. After my husband's death, I briefly took a job but volunteered to be laid off when the company needed to cut back. Jobless and sorely in need of cash I devoured books from the library on starting a business. I read, took notes, and wrote plans. I dressed in layers, wrapped up in blankets, ignored my growling tummy and excitedly planned the launch of my business.
I was cold and often hungry but I was certain of my place. I was standing firm while the winds howled outside my door. It was crazy to start a business while mourning the loss of my husband and with no money. Why not just go back to my nice cushy job in Corporate and do this on the side? Yes I could have followed conventional wisdom, but I knew where I was supposed to stand and refused to be moved.
I was neither brave nor stupid, or maybe I was a little of both. I didn't know how I was going to accomplish my dream. I didn't even know what direction to head. I did however, know where I was supposed to stand until I had the answers.
I am not advising anyone to take the same route I took. I am simply encouraging you to find a place where doubts and fears (yours and others) cannot huff and puff and blow you down. Look within and find that place that you need to stand and then stand firmly. When you do take that step forward, your legs may still wobble but the ground beneath you will not be moved.
What about you? Are you standing firm or being tossed around? What is keeping you from moving forward?
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
by Karen D. Swim