31 Days · Intentional Living

Paths Not Taken {#write31days}

When I was in high school, I was a choir kid. I can’t say that I had any real talent, but I liked to sing and was part of the all-girls choir, which I somehow made it into my junior and senior year. Being a smaller vocal group, with between 20 and 30 kids, our director always challenged us to do solos and small ensembles. We all were less enthused about it, none of us being particularly thrilled about singing alone in class, let alone on a stage in front of people.

I was part of the all-girls choir for two years of my high school career, and out of that time, I only worked up the courage to sing alone in front of the group once. It was an absolutely terrifying experience, and I had no desire to repeat it. While I did fine, and one of the girls who I didn’t often talk to even came up to me afterwards and told me I did a great job, it was too far outside my comfort zone.

It put me in a place of complete vulnerability, where I risked judgment for something I felt completely insecure about.

Paths not taken

For the rest of my time in high school, I didn’t volunteer for any solos or tryouts. Even when the one I knew I needed to try out for came up. It was perfectly in the middle of my range, and I learned it quickly and loved it. But I never tried out for it, or even indicated I want to. I stayed in the comfortable, knowing that to try out could’ve led me to singing it on stage, in front of everyone. The teacher ended up pulling the solo completely, because nobody was brave enough to step up and risk it.

I still think back to that, and I wish I had found the courage to at least try. It’s not exactly a regret, but an opportunity I know I missed. [bctt tweet=”One I gave up on, only because I allowed myself to believe the lies that I wasn’t capable.”] That I wasn’t good enough.

I wonder how often you’ve faced the same decision. Maybe it was something small, like trying out for a few lines of a solo in one song for a high school vocal concert. Maybe it’s much bigger. But how often do you talk yourself out of being brave, by bringing up all the practicalities of saying “no”. And how often do you give into the voices that say you aren’t _____ enough.

I know I’ve given in more often that I like to admit.

Trying out for that solo in choir class wouldn’t have changed anything major. I wouldn’t have gotten a recording contract and become famous. But it would’ve been an opportunity to grow and challenge the insecurities I dealt with everyday. In reality, ones I still deal with.

But it was a missed opportunity, all because I chose not to live brave. It was a path not taken, because I chose to let my fears outweigh my God.

Are you in that place today? Wondering whether you have the strength to step out in bravery and embrace your insecurities, living fully in your uncomfort zone?

Stand strong, friends.

-Jen


This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.

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One thought on “Paths Not Taken {#write31days}

  1. Friend, I’m not sure where God is leading, but your words spoke straight to my heart. Maybe I need to go outside my comfort zone and live brave.

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