They Laughed, I Gave Up!

12 Feb

Many great ideas have been lost because people who had them could not stand being laughed at. –Unknown

I believe that the only thing that prevents us from achieving our Greatness is fear. Just crazy delusional fear. I also know that American employers lose billions of dollars a year because of employee fear. Often employees are afraid to speak up to their bosses and co-workers with a better or more efficient idea, or a warning when they see their department going down a wrong path. Is their fear real? To them it is.

It’s hard to comprehend that as adults we should fear being laughed at, but this is a very real fear for many people. And we know where it comes from, our childhood. We weren’t born with this fear. We learned it in grammar school when we became the center of attention. You know those times. You were asked by the teacher to step up to the front of the room and read aloud your paper on how you spent your winter break.

There you were standing in front of all your classmates. Your young body was filled with fear, bordering on terror. You prayed that you wouldn’t make a mistake, that your nervousness would not be detected in your voice, that your face wouldn’t turn bright red.

But then it happened, you mispronounced a word and Mrs. Crotchety corrected you. The kids giggled. Then you tried the new pronunciation but you missed the mark once again and Mrs. Crotchety corrected you for the second time. Now all the kids are laughing and they’re laughing at you. You were made to feel like a fool, a dummy, stupid, and you swore then that you would never again put yourself in a position where others could laugh at you. Of course that meant never sharing your ideas, thoughts or opinions to anyone but those closest to you that you could trust. And, of course that meant giving up a whole lot of things; like friends, joy, a sense of accomplishment, pride, pay raises, promotions, recognition and hundreds of other things you’d like in your life.

Look, we can’t go back and change the fact that we suffered embarrassment at the hands of our classmates, but we can overpower that fear. The next time you have an idea, thought or opinion that you’d like to share with others, say this to your higher power first:

Infinite Spirit, it is my desire to share my ideas with others. Thank you for the courage to overpower my fear and say exactly what is on my mind.

To the new more powerful you,

Michael

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