I bought this t-shirt the other day. I’m generally not a big fan of slogan t-shirts, for myself anyway, I don’t dislike them in general. But I saw this one and it just resonated with me and I had to buy it (the fact that it was on sale for €4 also helped). I was so pleased with myself after buying it and just couldn’t wait to wear it, which would be a bit unusual considering slogan tees aren’t my thing usually, so it got me thinking about WHY the slogan resonated so much with me.
I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty confident person, not over confident but confident enough to be myself and not feel the need to apologise for it. I think other people would probably say that about me too. I am who I am.
What I have realised getting older though, is that a lot of my confidence was limited to situations where I feel most comfortable, where I feel I’m able and where I’m least likely to fail. This is probably the same for most people I guess, but when I look back at my late teens and early 20s and see how many opportunities I may have missed because I was afraid to take a leap of faith, or afraid of failure or embarrassing myself, it saddens me a bit. Times when I wanted to travel and was afraid of going on my own because I didn’t have anyone to go with, or when I wanted to apply for art college but thought I wouldn’t be good enough, times when I was happy to go ahead with everyone else’s plans because I was afraid to speak up and say what I wanted or thought no-one else would be interested or when I wanted to learn to play guitar but was too embarrassed that people would hear me badly practicing until I got good, that I just decided not to even try.
In my late 20s I feel like a different person, well not different, improved maybe and my confidence has become more rounded I think. Finally getting to travel made a huge difference. The feeling of accomplishment I felt when I checked in for my first flight to Thailand to lead on to Australia a month later has never left me. I couldn’t believe that I’d set myself the goal of going travelling and it was actually happening. Previous to that moment, I had a good track record of making plans and quickly discarding them because I got either lazy or distracted with something else. But since I’ve experienced that feeling of accomplishment, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to recognise the things that I want from life and really go for them because really, If you never try… you’ll never know.
When I look back on the last couple of years, particularly the last year, I feel likeI have achieved so much of what I wanted and what I planned and I can feel proud of myself for going after what I want. When I say I’ve achieved so much, Its all normal down to earth stuff that most people want for themselves… I’m not famous, rich or particularly successful and I don’t own anything expensive… Yet 🙂 Things like travelling the coast of Australia, to losing weight, to finding a good job, to exercising more have given me a great sense of self and a belief that if I put my mind to something, actually I can achieve it. These accomplishments have spurred me on to believe that I can do better for myself and should strive to be better for myself and my future (and my future with my Fiancé. Can’t leave him out, he’ll probably think i’m going to try upgrade him too after reading this post lol). I have realised that I need to put the work in, that I have to try. That things just don’t fall into your lap as a matter of luck. Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time, or be speaking to the right person, but at the end of the day, you have to put yourself out there to be in with a chance. If you try and fail, its not the end of the world… if you want it bad enough you should try and try again until you succeed. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know what could have been.
So I suppose, if anyone reads this… (It will probably only be my Mam or Karen) the message is just as the t-shirt says, If You Never Try, You’ll Never Know. Whatever it is you want to do just go for it and don’t mind what anyone else thinks, you’ll probably feel better for it, I know I do. The only thing stopping you is yourself.