The desire to grow is powerful and natural. Find the courage to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.
If you’ve ever seen a redbud tree, you know that the small, delicate flowers burst forth before the leaves come out. Seen from afar, they look like dizzying clouds of pinkish lavender that stand out from the other drab, gray, leafless trees at the beginning of spring. Up close, each tiny flower is a complex array of shapes and folds, similar to a sweet pea or a snap bean blossom.
I’m shamelessly anthropomorphizing here, but what if the redbud flowers decided they didn’t want to risk budding before the leaves? What if they just waited for the leaves to open first, and once they were protected and shaded, then decided to bloom?
First of all, the tree would look just like most of the other trees. There would be very little to distinguish it from the rest except that it might be a little more spindly and a bit shorter. Secondly, the blooms would be lost among the large leaves. Pollinators like honeybees might find them, but no one else would notice them. No risk involved, but no brilliant show, either. They would never live up to their glorious potential.
What if you grew beyond the parameters you’ve set for yourself? Or grew beyond others’ expectations? It would be scary because of the unknown factor. You could become anyone – someone you’re not familiar with – or never thought you could be.
But wouldn’t it also be exciting? Imagine being one iota happier, one step further in your career, one smidgen healthier. Why wouldn’t you sacrifice the you you are now to be a better you? Because you’re unprotected? Because everyone could see your true colors? Because you’re afraid of failing? Because you don’t want everyone to look at your brilliance?
Perhaps you’re even afraid of succeeding, because if you did, what then? Where might you go next? How would success affect your relationships, your job, your life?
There’s only one way to find out. Risk. Bloom. Spring forth.