Mark Twain

This quote by Mark Twain resonated with me as I began my new life as a divorced woman. I did not want to live with regrets. In a previous post  12 Self Discovery Questions I talked about coming to the realization that I no longer knew my identity. Discovering my identity was a big step, but only a first step.

I had to make some changes and with change, there is Risk.  I had to step into unknown territory.  Taking a risk involves fear. There were no guarantees that things would work out but I knew I could not stay where I was.

One of the first things I had to change was my fear of people. I am a very shy person. I could not string a few words together in front of even three or four people.

I would imagine people laughing at me for saying something stupid. I knew this was an unreasonable fear but I had always allowed the fear to control my mind. I had to change my mindset. I knew life would be different if I could change.

I had to take action. I came to realize that, if I wanted to change, I had to take responsibility for that change to happen. I became motivated from within.  I saw that doing nothing, that simply accepting myself as that shy person, was holding me back from being the person I always wanted to be.

Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I took a risk and threw off the “bowlines”. I left the “safe harbour” and joined several groups. I specifically chose places where I did not know anyone. Among the people I knew, I was expected to be the shy one, and I played that role well. I felt with strangers I could be a different person. I joined a photography club and a writing group. One of the biggest risks I took was joining Toastmasters. I knew I would have to stand up and talk in front of a group. It was scary but I did it afraid. I am very glad that I did. I am still shy, but I no longer allow my shyness to hold me back. I am now free to “explore, dream and discover” what life has in store for me.