04/22/2014 04:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 'I Can' Spirit


I have spent my life hiding behind my fears, people, doors and opportunities. Fear has stopped me from experiencing so much. If I think too much about it, it saddens me. As a child I was the kid who hid behind her classmates, sat quietly and didn't speak, the one left out of so much. I dreamed though. Boy did I dream. They were more like fantasies though. One fantasy in particular was me in my third-grade class.

Picture it, a third-grade classroom with those 80s large fluorescent light fixtures hanging from the ceilings, and petite, quiet me, the gymnast extraordinaire. Let me back track here a minute, I wasn't a gymnast, too scared to be. Anyway this petite girl, in the middle of the class, jumps up on her desk and propels herself up to the light fixture and proceeds to do a bar routine so phenomenal the kids in the class can do nothing but gasp in amazement. The teacher has her hand over her mouth, in silent awe. She swings from fixture to fixture, flipping in the air. It was amazing. I had done it. I had proved my amazement to my peers.

Only this was not real. It was only in my fantasies. Oh, how I wanted to show the world that I was amazing. But forsooth, I couldn't get out of the shadows of fear. I often did and secretly still do have similar fantasies, the ones that will prove to the world my awesomeness. Now, in my quest for "enlightenment," I have realized two things: 1. I don't have to prove anything to the world, and 2. I am already awesome just the way I am.

Back to this fear thing, why do numerous others and I hide? What are we afraid of? What is the worst that could happen if we express ourselves or share ourselves to the world? We fall on our face. Someone laughs at us. Even as a write that, I cringe. I am still haunted by those fears. I am super sensitive to judgment. I know it isn't a healthy way to live. I want to be free of my fears and my and other's judgments. I want to swing on the fluorescent lights not to impress but because it is something I want to do. I want to walk down the street with my head held high and be free of my fears.

I am preparing to write a manifesto of my intentions. I am going to challenge myself to do all the things I have fantasized about wanting to do, but have been too fearful. My manifesto will be grand. I don't think there will be any swinging from light fixtures but there may be swinging from tree branches. I don't think there will be any tattoos but there may be shaved heads. Who knows the possibilities are endless. I would like to say support me in my endeavors but that won't work because I would then be looking to you for support and possible praise. That is the wrong idea. This is my journey and my need to overcome these delusional fears I have had since childhood. I am taking on the "I can" spirit. I can do it and I will do it.

If you're interested in taking part in the "I can" spirit -- just do it. Together we can move mountains, climb trees and sing on stage. We can wear purple nail polish and do a back walkover. No one, not even fear can stop us now, because we have the "I can" spirit.