A couple of months ago I was on Persicope listening to someone (I can’t for the life of me remember who he was) doing a motivational scope. He was talking about how fear very often holds us back from doing all the things in life that we want to do and he suggested that it was time people stepped out of the margins and just got on with living their lives to the full. He went on to speak about how he couldn’t understand why people were happy to remain in the margins, in essence wasting their lives away, whilst others just grabbed the bit between their teeth and got on with whatever it was that they set out to do.
On hearing him say this I, of course, had to get my tuppence worth in and I said that I was quite sure that people were happy to stay in the margins because that’s where they feel safe. Hanging about on the edges and not really getting too involved in things makes people feel secure because they know that at any time they can make an escape. Also, it’s the place where these people are least likely to draw attention to themselves.
When I said this, the guy who was doing the scope went bananas – in a good way I might add. He got really excited and told everyone that they had to ‘tweet out’ what I had said. He explained to me that he had never thought of it that way before and for the next a few minutes I felt very pleased with myself but, that scope has bothered me ever since and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.
You see, he was right. It’s all very well hanging about in the margins of everything that’s going on in life. Staying safe. Always ready to make an exit if things get complicated. I truly get why people do it. I used to be a bit like that myself. But there definitely comes a time when you have to choose between staying out there and missing out, or taking the plunge and making your mark on the world. There comes a time when you need to step out of the margins.
When you stay out at the edges you never really get to fully experience what it’s like to just let yourself go and be truly involved in whatever it is that’s going on. It’s like learning to swim without ever leaving the shallow end of the swimming pool or riding a bike as long as the stabilisers (training wheels) stay in place. It’s like learning to drive a car but never taking it out of second gear or going out to a really great nightclub and staying near the door all night, praying that no-one will notice you or, worse still, talk to you although it doesn’t really matter because you’ve already planned your exit…just in case…
But there comes a time when you have to stop playing small, a time when you need to start taking responsibility. You might have something hugely important to say, some brilliant message to put out into the world but, sadly, no-one will ever hear it because you didn’t speak up. You could have something truly amazing to offer, something that could change the lives of millions of people but they may never get to take advantage of it because you didn’t have the courage to tell anyone about it.
Staying in the margins isn’t healthy and you really aren’t doing yourself any favours. I understand that you’re scared of being noticed or that you’re worried that you might somehow be dragged in to something you’d rather avoid but you can never really fully engage with anything that’s going on around you if you’re always looking for ways to make an escape. The thing is, I know that deep down you would secretly love to be a part of what’s going on but you can’t quite pluck up the courage to join in. Your heart is saying ‘This looks like fun! Let’s go!” but your head is saying “Hmmm…I’m not sure. This could be dangerous”. Am I right?
You need to get out of your own way and you need to follow your calling, passion, purpose – call it what you will. If you have a message to get out to the world; if you know of some way to help others; if you have a solution to a problem; if you have found your life’s purpose but have been too afraid to follow it up until now because you’re worried about what others might think, you need to find your voice. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the Universe to step out of the margins and into the limelight because eventually people will get fed up mollycoddling you because they’re not responsible for you and so they’ll simply let you get on with it. And eventually, you’ll be forgotten about. And you’ll never leave your mark, no matter how small, on the world.