This is the first excerpt of my blog Small Moments Big Insights. A place where I reflect on and share the seemingly small moments in my life that have asked me to pause and think about the bigger teachable insights.
Today’s story takes place on the ocean. My partner and I were out paddle boarding one sunny spring afternoon and as we got further and further away from shore I started to become increasingly uncomfortable.
Was I scared of the depths below me? Nope. Was I scared of encountering one of the many beings that are more adept and larger than me in the water? Nope.
At first I almost went with it, this feeling of fear that was pulling me back into the shallows. On the surface (no pun intended) it seemed quite normal to be feeling anxious as we ventured out onto the open ocean on nothing but a hard piece of plastic.
But with further investigation I realized what was actually concerning me was a fear that one of the few powerboats would have to adjust their course and go around us.
Even in the enormously vast ocean, I was scared to take up space.
And with that realization came a flood of memories of all the times I had held back, moved back, and turned around because I didn’t want to inconvenience someone with my voice, my presence. All the staff meetings I didn't say anything out of fear of being wrong. All the outfits I didn't wear out of not wanting to stand out. All of the times I acted like I didn't have an opinion on a subject that mattered to me.
I felt both relief and sadness at the thought of how reoccurring and deep seeded this reaction was.
Maybe I will inconvenience people from time to time by being out in the open. Maybe. But I know for certain it shrinks and stunts me to turn back out of fear of that possible inconvenience.
So, I took some more paddles opposite of the shore and had a great day playing in the ocean and sure enough no boats ever crossed our path.