I was inspired to write this post because of an amazing TedTalk that Luvvie Ajayi gave called “Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable." I didn’t know who Luvvie was before watching this talk, but afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a cool person she is. She takes risks, lives large and makes a difference.
I really liked what she said about how people, like herself, who speak out and say things that everybody else is afraid to say, are not without fear. I think we all know that one person who says what needs to be said without caring about the backlash that may come. It might seem like these people are a rare breed, but that isn’t the case. We can all be these people. We all need to be these people.
It’s easy to stand back and watch these brave people, let them do the talking, and not even think to join in. You might be thinking exactly the same thing as them, but just assume that they will stand up and do the right thing.
We need people who are willing to stand up and take action for the things that they believe in. This talk by Luvvie is so incredibly relevant to today's world because we need more of the people who are willing to take risks for the greater good.
An easy example of these people includes those who stand up against bullies when nobody else does. They are the ones who speak out against injustices and talk about things no one else wants to talk about.
There are so many important topics in the world that need to be addressed yet are avoided by people due to the fear of messing up. Sometimes people get scared to share their ideas because of the fear of being wrong, the fear of facing a backlash.
This fear is keeping us from creating change. Somebody needs to speak up, and we can’t always rely on other people to be that person. The person speaking needs to be us. We need to learn to be the first one to offer the opinion in discussions, the first one to call out a lie, the first one to stand up and take a chance.
Even when we are confident about what we have to say, there is almost always a lingering thought of: “but what if I’m wrong?” Well, maybe you are wrong, but at least you tried in good faith. We need to learn to let people be wrong without automatically putting them down. We need to give them a chance to learn, let them make a mistake, let them take a risk.
It’s hard but certainly true that the only way to make a significant impact is to put yourself out there and take a chance. I believe that everybody has something to say about what's important to them. The challenge comes with getting it out in the open and not being terrified of messing up. It’s okay to not know everything and to be continually learning.
The biggest thing that I took away from Luvvie's talk was to start thinking about what I’m scared of and do exactly that. Doing what I fear is the only way to start something great. Much easier said than done, I know, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try.
The best way to do this is to start out small and work your way up. One thing I want to work on is speaking out immediately when I have something important to say. I can’t let myself overthink and let the moment pass.
A big part of taking risks is jumping in without overthinking it. Wanting something to be perfect before it is done is no way to start. Perfection is the opposite of risk-taking. A lot of the time the risk might not turn out very good, but then you just try again.
Next time you find yourself afraid or hesitant to do something, try your best to do it. The world needs you to not be afraid of failure. Who knows what you could accomplish if you just took a chance.