Talking Myself Into Life


By Kate Kole

I’m a sucker for any self-reflective advice piece. I love reading books like Oprah’s What I Know For Sure and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Steve Jobs’ How to Live Before You Die commencement speech at Stanford. I see the nuggets of truth and wisdom we have to offer one another as invaluable.

So, I started wondering, on the brink of 30, what bit of life advice would I extend to others? What truth from my own experiences would I share? Of course, similar to Oprah – I was looking for any opportunity I could to use that sentence likening us to one another – I’d have more than one thing to say. It might not be a full book quite yet, but I could capably fill a few pages.

Assuming that people (like my mom) would want to read my advice even though I haven’t quite reached the same level of success as the original queen of daytime television or the mastermind behind Apple technologies, I started looking back and drawing on specific moments from my life. In doing so, I quickly realized that in order to keep this article from becoming the equivalent of the random motivational quote bulletin board I had in my middle school bedroom, I’d need to zero in on one, just one, lesson life has taught me again and again.

So, here we go. When I was a freshman in high school, I played point guard on the basketball team. Let me rephrase that, I played backup point guard. Having difficulty remembering plays and experiencing a bit of stage fright, or in this case, court fright, I was actually happy to sit the bench. I’d cheer my teammates on and drink the special gameday Gatorade my parents purchased, somewhat relieved to not be playing. And when the coach called my name to sub in, I actually resisted it. I’d wave my hand in an effort to say “I’m good” or offer one of the other girls to get playing time. Even though I loved the sport and busted my ass in practice each day, the fear of messing up, forgetting a play, and missing a shot overrode my passion for the game.

Continuing my stroll down memory lane, I went on to experience more of the same. That’s where the whole “again and again” thing comes in. I’m convinced that life has a way of offering a creative spin on the same lesson until we’re finally willing to receive it. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t ready to receive it quite yet. Instead, I veered away from certain college majors fearing public speaking, I passed on applying to certain jobs fearing I didn’t have the right skill set, and I resisted submitting my writing to online publications fearing rejection. I held myself back from life experiences that I really wanted because they scared me and in doing so, I let fear win. I allowed it to limit who I had the capacity to become and what my life had the capacity to become.

Of course, I must have flipped the switch somewhere along the way, or else, I wouldn’t be sharing this as my bit of learned advice, right? Well…kind of.

A few years ago, I signed up for yoga teacher training because quite simply, I really wanted to become a yoga instructor. Meaning that for the first time, I wanted to do something more than I wanted to sit on the sidelines wondering if I could and finding all the reasons why I shouldn’t. I wanted it more than I was scared of it. Yet still, I was scared. Before teaching for the first time, I stared out at the class and wondered if I’d made the biggest mistake ever. But then, something amazing happened. Because I had no other choice than to run straight out of the room, I taught the class. Not void of fear, in spite of it.

And after that, I kept teaching, even though aspects of discomfort sometimes accompanied it. And I started sharing my writing more, even though I was worried that it still wasn’t good enough. And I applied for jobs even though I knew that I might not get them. Because, somewhere along my journey, I’d finally realized that growing pains are part of the process and that my fear of not being good enough or somehow failing is likely always going to exist in some capacity. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean that I should be the one to talk myself out of the game.

The thing is, we all question whether we are enough at times. If we’re smart enough, or pretty enough, or creative enough, or even kind enough. We wonder if we have what it takes to be accomplished, successful, and accepted.  That’s just part of being human. It comes with the territory.

But here’s the other thing, our lives aren’t waiting for when we’re ready later, they’re happening right now. So, imperfections, fear of failure, wondering if we’re competent enough, and all, we’ve got to start talking ourselves into the game. Because, what I’ve learned is this, if we want anyone else to value what we have to offer this world, the first step is for us to get out of our own way and to start trusting that it’s valuable, that we’re worthy, and that if we don’t do it, no one else will.

{featured image via pexels}

5 thoughts on “Talking Myself Into Life

  1. sarahshealthylifeblog says:

    This hit home. I feel that I am the same way. I will let fear of failure or not being good enough stop me from trying what I want to do. I felt this way when I started my blog. I’m afraid that no one will read what I post or be interested in what I have to say. I loved your post and it has inspired me to not let my fear stop me from doing what I want to do. Thank you.


    • perfectingamy says:

      I am in completely the same place, Sarah. I have the fear every time I hover over the publish button after procrastinating with too many proof-reads. Will anyone read it? Will anyone actually like it? But I need to keep remembering why I started..because I enjoy it! I love writing and hopefully people will get that from what they read 🙂 Keep going, I know I will!
      A x

      Liked by 1 person

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