Have you ever thought that it is too late to engage in an activity? Perhaps you think it is too late to go back to school, to study, engage in some business venture, marry, take a leadership position, stand up for an election, or be an advocate for a worthy cause. Usually, this may be the result of some limitations or challenges encountered in the recent past or present.
Analyzing these situations has revealed that often, the holdback is due to “fear”. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of being the laughingstock, and even the fear of other people’s commentary.
FEAR, I once read, is an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real”, implying that sometimes we convince ourselves that the negative will occur, so we do not make any effort to put forward our best selves and therefore seek to remain in our so-called “comfort zone”. Unfortunately, having such negative and limiting thoughts get compounded when we surround ourselves with “negaholics” who specialize in exhuming persistent negative or pessimistic outlooks. This crystallizes our fears and eventually cripples us. William Shakespeare once said, “Extreme fear can neither fight nor fly”.
It is time to put away fear and replace it with faith and belief in yourself. Everything you want is on the other side of fear and it is never too late to go for it. This article “Racing from Behind” is about keeping your eyes on the ball, staying resilient, and not giving up.
As part of human growth and development, there are bound to be challenges but what is important, is not to allow setbacks to define the future. Remember, life is not a sprint but a marathon. One may go at a snail’s pace but with focus, determination, and consistency, backed by faith, the race will be completed.
During my daughter’s years in High School, she decided to put herself forward for election as a hostel executive. This was a late decision. Her main objective was to foster unity among the residents within the hostel and project them positively in the school. Nobody gave her a dog’s chance and at a point, she almost gave up but for encouragement from family and some friends. Other contestants were certainly not excited about her decision to contest and resorted to tactics to dissuade her. She was ridiculed by some students saying she was not popular enough to win the hearts and minds of the people (voters) in the hostel. However, close friends and family encouraged her to focus on her strengths and things that made her stand out from the other contestants. This brought focus to her “north star” which made her determined to consistently address any potential weaknesses in her message. Her victory on election day was overwhelming and she went on to serve diligently as the hostel executive for a year.
So soon, seven of the twelve months of 2023 have passed. Some individual, team, and organizational targets set have been achieved and perhaps surpassed. There may be so many more goals that have not been met and are considered too late to start. Do not FEAR to start working towards an objective or goal. It is essential to reassess the importance of your goals or the organizational goals and how they fit into the mission-critical functions and pursue them. Note that it is too early in the day to hang one’s boots. The critical thing is to stop procrastinating and ACT now on these goals. Some of our goals today are milestones in attaining broader individual or team or organizational objectives.
Some practical approaches to continue the race even if you are not at the forefront include:
- Having clear goals that are backed by research.
- Revisiting your plans intermittently to stay on track.
- Seeking support from the relevant identified people.
- Networking with positive-minded individuals.
- Being bold to confront fears and take steps to overcome them.
- Stop procrastinating and take a step of faith.
- Take action and begin the journey NOW.
It does not matter when you begin; what matters is your preparation, courage to take that bold step to seize the opportunities and work assiduously to succeed. Victory loves preparation. Do not be afraid of failure after all it teaches us how not to do it.
The race is certainly not just for the swift, it takes direction. Remember that we have to complete the race, so let us remain resilient, and keep racing even if it is from behind. “As long as you are breathing, it is never too late to do some good” – Maya Angelo”.
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