I will admit it. When I was a little girl, I gave all types of excuses, reasons, and justifications to stay in my comfort zone. Yes, me. I lied and cried when adversity or opportunity demanded that I stretch my wings, enlarge my heart and expand my mind. I was not interested in doing anything new, difficult, different or creative. I wanted to stay in my secure silos even if staying meant missing out on the fun, missing a meal or not getting an ice cream cone. I didn’t want to budge; I was obstinate.
Yes, me. I would cry, but really sob uncontrollably, if pushed to try anything that required extra effort or too much energy. Due to my painful childhood experiences, I lived in a spirit of defeat. I expected to lose. I anticipated failure. I was convinced that I could not win. So, I always cried; crying was my preemptive strike to encourage adults to excuse me from trying anything that I deemed too hard. Of course, I deemed everything too hard.
But when I was little girl, one of my elders gave me some sage advice. She said, “Baby, don’t cry until you try”.
As a child, I thought that advice was foolish. I didn’t feel that crying was something that had to be earned. I wanted to cry so I didn’t have to try. I wanted to cry so people would accommodate me, care for me and expect nothing from me. I wanted my tears to invoke sympathy so that people would let me off the hook. I wanted my sobbing and sniffling to exempt me from hard labor, which for me meant trying anything that exacerbated my already deteriorating self-esteem.
But somewhere along the way, my elder’s advice resonated me and I realized that crying before I tried to do something was crippling me. Crying and getting all worked up only drained my energy and dampen my spirit. And let’s be honest. The crying really didn’t work. My tears convinced no one to let me settle for mediocrity, ordinary or average. My runny nose and blood-stained eyes didn’t encourage my parents to let me to exist on the sidelines. No way!
- I don’t know how
- It’s too hard
- I never done that before
- It will take too long
- My friends don’t have to do it
- Why me
- I will miss my TV show
- It’s not fair
- You are picking on me
- You hate me
- People are going to laugh at me
- I am too fat
- I am not tall enough
- I am too tall
- I am too young
- I am too old
- I can’t do it
- Why do I have to go first
- People are going to hate me
- I am not good at stuff like that
- I may hurt myself
- I have homework to do
My list was comprehensive and I was creative. I had all types of excuses and rationale to escape doing something new.
Thankfully, I grew up and grew out of that self-sabotaging behavior. I stopped the excuses, and I discovered that I actually loved trying new things. I loved the feeling that I got when I was doing something that I have never done before. It was exhilarating.
Trying new things made me proud of myself and did wonders for my re-emerging self-esteem. The more I tried new things, the more I wanted to try. Stepping outside of my comfort zone encouraged me to live fully, love freely and trust deeply. The adage is true: Nothing beats a try.
If you cry before you try or complain before you pursue, I want to encourage you to Try Before You Cry. Maybe you will fail, or find out that you don’t enjoy something. But maybe, just maybe, you will discover new skills, revisit a dormant talent, reclaim your power, reignite an old passion or experience an adventure.
There is nothing wrong with crying; crying is cleansing. But getting all worked up before you even exert any energy, effort or enthusiasm to try something new, does not serve or support you. It actually limits and hinders you. Trust me, I know. My proactive crying strategy did nothing but make me miss out on life – experiences, opportunities, love and pure joy.
Try Before You Cry! Give yourself a chance! You deserve it!
Blessings to you always!
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