Give Yourself Permission To Soar

I learnt to drive in 1999. My instructor was an experienced driver in a highly safety-conscious environment. In 2000, unconvinced about my driving skills, I registered in a driving school, and learnt even further, and I got a driver’s licence. In 2003, I returned from my studies abroad and was job-hunting. My fiance at the time, was away but had his car parked in our house. I had free access to the car, but refused to drive it because I still wasn’t convinced about my driving skills.

A time came, I had run low on cash, and had to go to the Island to follow some job leads. I finally summoned the courage to drive the car. I was driving down the Third Mainland Bridge when I suddenly realised I had been overtaking many vehicles without anyone overtaking me. I looked at the speedometer. I was driving at 120km/hour. I pressed my brakes suddenly on impulse, and screeched almost to a halt. Luckily, no car was coming close behind me. I hadn’t even checked for that, because I was overcome by fear. After a few minutes, I regained my composure, and that’s when i realised the absurdity of my situation. I was doing fine, and enjoying the drive, until I saw I was doing it a bit too well.

Unfortunately, the same thing happens with many of us in life. We convince ourselves, even in the face of contrary evidence, that we’re not good enough, or are lacking in some ability or the other. When we finally summon the courage to do it, we’re doing it so well until something tells us we’re not supposed to be that good yet, then we screech to a halt somewhat in fear of our “early” success.

Who told you that your career journey has to take 15 years to reach the peak, because that’s the industry average? Who says that you have to go through several stages of training to get good at something? I’m not preaching mediocrity, but I’m saying give yourself the permission to soar, if you can soar. I’ve seen a baby who skipped the crawling stage, and went from sitting to walking. How absurd would it have been for his mother to have insisted he had to crawl first, just to fit the mould. Who says you can’t be the first person in your family to break out, just because you’re the youngest? Who says?

We each have our individual “superpowers”, and we shouldn’t be afraid to let them shine through. Don’t let the fear of success bring you screeching to a dangerous halt, before you’ve even started your journey. You don’t have to move slowly just so you don’t appear to be too fast. By all means exercise reasonable caution, but don’t be afraid to put your special abilities to work. There’s nothing wrong with standing out.


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