Andrew Whitlatch - Courtesy Laugh Network - May 31, 2011
Most people won’t ever reach their full potential. The number one reason we won’t reach our full potential is fear. To truly understand potential you must be willing to take chances. Taking chances requires courage and an ability to accept failure. We’re too comfortable being comfortable. Acceptance from our peers is our number one concern.
Famous comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, tells a joke about how the number one fear people have is public speaking.
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
We’re scared to death to not be accepted by complete strangers. I am definitely a victim of this. I ride the subway every morning to work. People are crammed together. Yet it’s completely silent. I remember in grade school when the teacher would come into the class and spend five minutes trying to quiet the class. I find it incredibly odd how quiet a large group of people, crammed into a small space, can be.
I know people just want to get to their destination, and NYC is notorious for the oddest people. I think the main reason it’s so quiet is because we’re afraid to talk to each other. I don’t embrace fear enough. Discomfort is what growth feels like. Writing is often times a self-loathing process for me. I think all week what I’m going to write about. I nit pick each little word or sentence. When I finally reach my deadline and finish the last sentence I don’t feel relief. I feel like I am about to give a speech or when I was kid and I’d have to go see the dentist.
However, the responses I get from readers are amazing. I had no idea I had so much in common with people. It’s incredibly empowering to step outside myself. Our fears and insecurities about acceptance hold us back from reaching our full potential.