The Timid & The Bold

Over the weekend I read a book entitled, An Iron Will, by Orison Swett Marden (book #77 for the year). In that book the author says this –

The world takes us at our own valuation. It believes in the man who believes in himself, but it has little use for the timid man, the one who is never certain of himself; who cannot rely on his own judgment, who craves advice from others, and is afraid to go ahead on his own account.

That hits way too close to home.

Here’s a secret which I’m not at all comfortable sharing with the world (which is exactly the reason I know I must share it) –

                   I have been that timid man.

If I am honest, timidity has been my greatest adversary throughout my life. I have been one who has, quite literally, been afraid of nearly everything (not excluding my own shadow). It’s always been there – mocking me at every turn – laughing at me at every possible decision for a better future. Stopping me from speaking up. Stopping me from taking effective action. Stopping me from connecting with other people. Stopping me from pursuing my dreams. Stopping me from fulfilling my potential. Stopping me from being all that I was put here to be.

I can literally trace all of my woes and failures back to this one self-defeating and debilitating tendency.

The results, undeniably, speak for themselves.

Timidity is not a virtue; it’s an illness. If you let it go, it’ll conquer you. ~ Jim Rohn

So where did it come from? This timidity illness. And how did it gain such a significant hold on me? I have my theories, but at this point I don’t think it even matters. All that matters is, what am I going to do about it?

Thankfully, I believe the past does not equal the future. And the only effective way to battle this illness is to purposefully do the things that activate it. And so (deep breath), that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

The good news is, I have already made significant strides against this illness through my commitment to personal development. Believe it or not, there was a time when I would not have even had the courage to write this blog. Putting myself out there in this manner would have been just too scary. Clearly I’ve come a long way since then. And yet, I still fight this illness every day.

Orison Swett Marden goes on to say this in An Iron Will –

Those who have accomplished great things in the world have been, as a rule, bold, aggressive, and self-confident. They dared to step out from the crowd, and act in an original way. They were not afraid to be generals.

What could I achieve if I were to replace my previous timidity with boldness in the same measure? I guess we’ll have to find out.

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