A few months ago, my friend Kathryn encouraged me in this journey to take flight. She probably didn’t know it at the time, but she told me a simple phrase that has stuck with me whenever I think I can’t, whenever I think something is too scary, whenever I think something is beyond my ability.
Do hard things.
Three words. That’s all it is, but it’s a phrase the really caught on for both of us, and I’d like to think that God used Kathryn and this simple phrase to help us both grow in new ways.
Growing up, I was a shy child. Hard to believe, right? Okay, maybe not.
When I was little, people would come up to me at church to say hello and I would quickly hide behind my mom or dad. I was that kid who was scared of falling, scared of heights, and scared of getting hurt long before I even broke my ankle at the age of six. I was so timid and so cautious that it was almost dangerous. I had my shell. I had my comfort zone, and I liked it there.
I never thought I would ever become adventurous in any capacity of the word…but I did.
On Monday, Kathryn and I went hiking in the Wichita Mountains in Southwestern Oklahoma. No, Oklahoma is not completely flat. Yes, Oklahoma has mountains…sort of. Any who, since we didn’t have classes because of the holiday, we took off to the mountains because we just couldn’t wait until January for a trip to the mountains. So we hiked, we bouldered, we got a little lost because we didn’t get a map first (I would not recommend especially for long hiking trips). And looking back I would have never have done five or more years ago what I did Monday.
I did hard things. In recent years, I’ve challenged myself to go out of my comfort zone. I’ve pushed myself to talk to that person or to go to knew heights or try something new. My senior year of high school I learned how to play golf, a sport I never thought I would play (seriously, that is). My freshman year of college I tried sushi and hiked the Wichitas for the first time. My sophomore year I went kayaking for the first time. This past May I traveled to a new country and continent.
I still have a ways to go, but I think the phrase “do hard things” has caught on so well that other people have taken notice. Just the other day at work, the other intern said she could see me taking a year after college to travel the world. “You’re just so adventurous!” she said.
All I could say was, “Why thank you! I try!”
So, take flight and do hard things. Climb a mountain. Hike for a week, a month, three months. Learn a new skill that terrifies you. Train for a race. Explore a new city, state, or country. Interview for that dream job you really want. Leave that job you actually hate. Break off that relationship and learn to be an independent, solo amigo, single for a year. Guys, boys, men…how ever you see yourself…ask that girl out!!!! Girls, ladies, women…learn to say no and raise your standards!!!
Find what is hardest for you to do and do it!
(Photo credit: feature photo, Kathryn Patterson. Check out her Facebook page!)