How many of you actually like being pushed into something that is unknown, uncomfortable, new and unfamiliar? Does the thought of that alone get your heart racing and palms sweating?
I can tell you it does for me. Every single time, as far back as I can remember, when I am pushed to do something unfamiliar, I stubbornly dig my heels in and begin to list all of the reasons why “I cannot”, “I hate it”, “I do not want to” or even “I won’t survive”.
Now I want you to close your eyes for a minute and look back on all of those times someone, albeit a parent, friend, or just an unavoidable life circumstance, pushed you into the unfamiliar. How often did you come out RIGHT in your thinking? Right about not being able to, hating it, or being less than the person beforehand?
I am sure some of you are carrying around scars from your past from experiences you did not ask for, invite in and were certainly pushed on you. Catastrophic events that were life altering. Those warrant a whole other conversation, one much deeper and probably deserving of length way longer than a blog entry.
I am talking about the times in your life when, for example, your mom signed you up for a camp and you cried and screamed and refused to go. With a firm denial of your request she ignored your cries, packed your bags, and lovingly kissed you good-bye as she dropped you off. And it was one of the best experiences of your childhood. You flourished in newfound independence and confidence and were stretched to do things you never had been exposed to. You grew.
Or maybe a time in middle school, when the high school basketball coach scouted you out in the hallway because you stood a head above the other girls and asked if you wanted to play basketball. You were quick to deny being an athlete and said you did not, could not and would not. But when your parents got wind of this they encouraged you. They pushed you and would not take your excuses and signed you up. And you began to like it, sometimes even love it! This PUSH opened up doors for you you had convinced yourself would never be there. You were the athlete you never thought you could be. You stopped saying you couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t and physical fitness became a lifelong part of your everyday life all because of a PUSH.
As I look back on my life those are just two examples of ways in which I needed that push in order to grow and expand. Someone wiser and older than I took hold of the reigns and did not give me a choice.
As an adult, I find that I still need to be pushed into the unknown and uncomfortable. I do not like change and often will find a million excuses as to why “I cannot”, “I hate it”, “I do not want to” or even “I won’t survive.” But as an adult with enough life experience and positive “pushes” behind me I know that exiting into the unknown and unfamiliar is necessary for my growth.
I have to seek others to walk by my side and give me that hard PUSH sometimes. When I get lazy in my workouts, a good trainer can help reset my efforts and call me out when I am holding back. When I make excuses as to why I cannot change and I live within those excuses, allowing them to become a negative mindset, a good coach or therapist firmly redirects my thinking.
I honestly believe that God gives us other people to walk by our side, encourage and PUSH us to be our very best. We need to seek out those people whether it be in our friendships, our mentors or advisors. If we need to enlist an accountability buddy, hire a coach or seek counseling, we need to embrace the ‘pushers’ and get ready to be stretched.
Next time you start to scream, “I cannot”, “I hate it”, “I do not want to” or even “I won’t survive” stop and instead, embrace the PUSH and hold on for the ride because great things are in store!