Last week I discovered the reason why my eleven year old wouldn’t play his clarinet in front of people. I put it down to lack of practice, but I was wrong.
The reason? He goes red when he’s the centre of attention. The last straw was when a class mate told him to ‘cool his face down’.
I remember how red I used to get when I was younger. But telling somebody you remember being like that doesn’t really help.
There are so many things that hold us back- hang-ups about how we think people will respond to us, fears about looking foolish, anticipation of failure…
I have to confess that lately I’ve let all those negative feelings stop me from doing anything. I see other, much braver, people achieving things beyond their ‘ability’ and I wish I had their courage.
So, until I cross a crowded room to join a new conversation, or walk up the drive to see how my sick neighbour is doing, I can’t tell my son to stand up and play his clarinet.
What is it that’s stopping you from achieving your potential? If you look away from that, and think of what a difference you could bring to somebody out there who’s just waiting for you, maybe, just maybe, it would be worth the blushes.