The world shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
— Anaïs Nin
First you crawled; then you learned to walk, and the world grew a little bigger. You learned to ride a bike, and it grew even more. Then you learned to drive a car and bought a plane ticket. Suddenly, the horizons were limitless. But then, those doubts crept in. I can’t go to L.A. I’ll never find my way around. And the world shrinks a little bit. I shouldn’t take that trip this year; I’ve got too many responsibilities. And it shrinks a little more. Enough excuses and rationalizations and you’re left sitting in a little box with the lid tightly affixed.
No experiences, no lessons, no life.
Boxes can be comfortable. I’ve spent some time in them myself. But no matter how cozy you make it, a box is still a box. They come in all sizes and shapes. But whenever we start letting unrealistic fears hold us back and down, we can be fairly certain we’re climbing inside another box, again. It may take a while, but sooner or later we’ll run into the walls.
Find one small I can’t in your life and take the lid off of the box. Look around. It’s a big world out there. If it looks small, it’s because you’ve made it that way. Try for a minor impossibility. Go apply for that dream job. The worst that will happen is that you’ll learn something new about yourself. If you don’t actually get the job, you may find out what it will take to get it, and then the world will grow when you stop wishing for a miracle and begin pursuing your dreams yourself. Pick up some brochures for that photo safari you’ve always wanted to take. Learn how to speak a foreign language. One woman I know had claustrophobia. For her birthday this year, she rode in a elevator for the first time. Then she went back and did it again.
Go ahead. Poke the top off from your box. Stick your head out. Look around. See! The world is a marvelous, amazing place.
Find a fear, then turn it into a ladder. Get out of the box of doubt and insecurity and into the freedom of courage and belief in yourself.
God, give me the courage to climb out of my box.