The Confidence Test
I was walking past a river-lock today and I saw ship waiting to go through. It was on the lower level – just beginning to squeeze into the tight confines of the lock. The heavy steel doors shut behind the ship. After a brief pause the water begin to rush wildly around the hull.
I could see the men on board carefully checking both sides, a little nervous that she might smash into the walls. It took ages for the lock to fill, but the rush of water eventually slowed. Then there was total stillness – dead quiet. The steel doors on the upper level slowly opened. Finally the ship was free to move forward on higher ground.
I sat there with my feet swinging down over the water, and realised that this is how I feel quite often when change presents itself. I’m flowing smoothly along when all of a sudden I see a barrier rise up in front of me. I’m driven and have the desire to keep moving forward and grow my confidence, but then the walls start to feel like they are closing in. All I hear is the movement of the world rushing all around me. I become frightened that this process will damage me somehow, and my mind is constantly checking to see if there is another way. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that this is just another phase of the journey – one that brings me to a higher understanding of myself.
It’s actually in these moments that we have the greatest potential for a fresh perspective and massive growth. When we look at the characteristics that we most value in ourselves, so often we see that those characteristics were born out of difficult times when we were tested and feeling hurt and broken. We have a choice in these times of change – we can choose to get lost in these moments and hide away until they pass, or we can sit calmly with the discomfort, being open to seeing what beautiful lessons there are to learn from the turbulent water around us.
This is our opportunity each day. To see clearly where we are, even if that place is filled with daunting questions and uncertainty. We can choose to see this moment as an opportunity to grow confidence and become stronger. To know ourselves better for the next set of opportunities that comes our way…