“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” ~Paulo Coelho
I stood there in the parking lot of my apartment complex, with the hot Phoenix sun beating down on me, as I watched him drive away for what I thought would be the last time.
With tears rolling down my cheeks, I went inside my apartment after his car had turned the corner and was out of sight.
When the door closed behind me with that familiar thud, I could almost feel the loneliness swallow me up.
We met nine months earlier and quickly fell in love. But his time in Arizona had come to an end when he graduated from ASU. With no jobs in sight in Phoenix, he was hitting the highway and driving back to his hometown of Seattle to use his contacts to find work.
I wanted to go with him, but I was afraid of leaving all that was comfortable and familiar to me.
When he drove away, with his car filled to the brim with all his belongings, I imagined my life without him. I knew I my life would carry on, as I would wake up every morning, go to work, come home, and hang out with friends and family on the weekends. Perhaps even months down the road, I would probably start dating again.
Life would inevitably continue—but without him. The thought of being in love with someone who I’d never see again was a hard thing to swallow.
Step Right Up and Place Your Bets
Every day, moment by moment, we make choices. Some of those choices seem inconsequential. Most of us only feel the burden of choice when we are faced with one of those “big life decisions.”
Taking a new job, moving to a new city, starting a business, or having a child, just to name a few.
However, all the small seemingly insignificant choices sculpt our lives just as much as the big ones.
After all, how you do the small things is how you’ll do the big things.
Every day we make decisions, and each decision, whether big or small, is forcing us to bet either on ourselves or against ourselves.
You bet against yourself during those moments when:
- You want to say “no” but end up saying “yes” instead (or vice versa).
- You decide that you don’t really need to exercise today (you can always start tomorrow).
- You decide to put off making a decision because you tell yourself you just need more information.
And when you bet against yourself, you will always lose.
No amount of betting against yourself is going to bring your dreams to life. No amount of downsizing your vision or playing small is ever going to lead to happiness.
In the end, you’ll always be left wondering “what if…” as you look back on a lifetime of regrets and unanswered callings.
On the other hand, when you bet on yourself, you’re taking a chance. You’re believing in what’s right about you. You’re believing in your potential. You’re believing in your dreams.
And when you bet on yourself, you give yourself the chance to win big.
Will you always win when you bet on yourself? Of course not. I wish I could say otherwise, but taking a risk is just that—a risk.
However, when you follow your heart and bet on yourself, you are opening yourself up to playing a bigger game. You’re allowing yourself to live in a world where you don’t have to constantly hedge your bets.
When you bet on yourself, you give yourself permission to chase after your dreams. You may not always catch them, but at least you can take off your boots at the end of the day knowing you gave it your best.
Back in Phoenix, Arizona…
As I sat there in my lonely apartment after he left, I realized what I needed to do.
I made a few phone calls and did a few Internet searches, and in less than a month, I had sold my car, gotten out of my lease, gotten rid of most of my things, landed a job in Seattle, and booked a one-way ticket to go start a life with the man that I love.
Maybe it was a little fast. Maybe I should have taken it slower.
But I decided, right there on that day, to bet on myself for once. That’s a decision I don’t regret, several years later, still in a loving and uplifting relationship with that same man.
My question for you is: What’s one thing you can do today to bet on yourself?
Photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto