Growing up with an older brother was both a blessing and a curse. It was a curse when he would take my candy, change the channel when I was watching TV or try to make me cry. But it was much more of a blessing as I look back now and realize how instrumental he was in making me who I am today.
The two things I remember hearing from him as kids are, “You can’t do that - you’re a girl” and “I dare you.” Those two statements pushed me through my childhood, beyond my own limits, and motivated me to try things I honestly didn’t think I could do. Whether it was jumping from a high rock into a lake, getting behind the plate to catch his fast balls or taking my turn riding the bike up and over his Evel Knievel jumps, I did it. Sometimes it turned out well and I qualified to be one of the gang, and other times I took a bad hit and ended up a little bloody and embarrassed. But I did it, and came to believe that the reward of the pleasant surprise when all went well was worth the risk that it wouldn’t.
To this day, I am still unable to resist a dare, and girls have long since proven they can do anything they set their minds to. All those dares and challenges from my older brother taught me just that: I can do anything I set my mind to. Fear doesn’t matter - for me it’s an inevitability, but it simply doesn’t have to mean anything. It encourages me to be careful and nothing more.
I am grateful for what I learned as a kid, and also grateful that I have been lucky enough to land on my feet the majority of the time, anytime I try something I don’t think I can do. Taking risks has allowed me to take advantage of some incredible opportunities, experience some amazing things and above all, dare to do it all over again. What hasn’t killed me truly has made me stronger.
I hope the same for you. Here are some things that help me “practice” doing those things I don’t think I can do.
Until next time, make yourself proud.
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