Step Up

It is important for us never to settle for what we are capable of doing. We need to step up into those things that are bigger than us. The reason is so we will keep growing and learning, to avoid our biggest enemy…complacency.

A friend told me last week, “inadequacy is not the same as insignificance.” We may often feel inadequate in what we are doing, but that does not mean that we are unnecessary. And yes, it is so easy to compare ourselves with those around us who seem to do things so much better than we do. But, in essence, we all struggle with this in some way or another.

So many times in my life I have silently taken a backseat to others who I felt were more capable than me. I didn’t feel that what I had to offer was enough. Somehow I believed that those who got involved knew what they were doing and therefore were much more qualified. More often than not, however, they were simply willing to try and do their best…they were willing to take the risk and rise up to the challenge.

Our tendency is to play it safe…we don’t want to fail. We want people to see our strengths and avoid as much as possible those things that reveal our weaknesses. What if we embraced our weaknesses as opportunities? Instead of avoiding them, we saw them as opportunities to learn. Perhaps we’d discover a strength hidden within.

I have learned more from my inadequacies than I ever have from my achievements. Because, we never truly succeed all by ourselves…we always have need of help along the way. It is the dependence upon others to support us that enables us to become strong. It is our weakness and inadequacy that makes room for others to be included. By allowing others to fill in the gaps, we can learn from each other and grow together.

The biggest mistake we can make is to give in to a feeling of insignificance. This sense of not being needed, or somehow unnecessary, is the perfect recipe for failure because it keeps us from even trying. We have given up before we even start.

We may only have one piece of the puzzle, but the picture will never be complete without that one piece. It is so annoying when working on a jigsaw puzzle to discover at the end that one piece is missing…it just always feels unfinished. The same is true when we refuse to participate in something because of our insecurities…we are withdrawing that one piece that will complete the picture.

While it may seem safer to continue doing only those things we are good at, we need to challenge ourselves to step up into those things within which we feel inadequate. To avoid the trap of complacency, we need to feel uncomfortable enough to want to change.