Stuck in Prison

Imagine yourself in a prison cell.

You’ve lost years in that cell for a crime you didn't commit; countless hours spent daydreaming about what it will feel like to be free again. It’s only the hope for freedom that keeps you alive. One day the guard comes to your cell, opens it and says, “you’re free to go.” Stunned, you sit not moving a muscle. Instead of getting up and walking through the doors, you start wondering what freedom will look like for you. The unknowns surrounding it leave you questioning if freedom is actually what you want.

As weird as it may sound, you’ve come to find some comfort and safety in your prison. You wonder, “how will I find food, a place to sleep, and what will people think about me when I get out. Will they accept me as a free person?”

What you’ve wanted, deserved, and even painfully wished for is here and yet you seem to be frozen, unable to receive it...

To most people reading this story, you’re probably thinking this is a bit ridiculous and you’re right. Yet, everyday sometimes without knowing it, we choose to confine ourselves to a mental prison constructed by our own fears. We are free, but choose to be locked up in the prisons of thoughts like:

What will they think? We want to try something new. Maybe apply for a job, start a company, or write a book. But... What will they think? They may think I’m crazy, they may laugh, talk behind my back or worse, choose not to be my friend.

I don’t know how… Then, there’s the prison of I don’t how. It’s another tricky one that tries to steal the freedom we should rightfully have. I don’t know how to start a business. I don’t know how I would get a customer. I don’t know how I could afford it.

What if I fail? And of course, we can’t forget this one. What if I fail at what I’m trying to do? You start looking at the statistics, the odds and all of the sudden you’re making decisions to avoid failure at all cost.

There’s a good chance that we’ve all or will at some point find ourselves sitting in the self-imposed cell of one of these prisons. So, the next time you find yourself there, think about this:

  1. What will they think when you do exactly what you’ve dreamed about? And frankly, who cares what they think.

  2. Nobody knew how when they started. Trust me, we’re all learning along the way.

  3. Your odds of success increase with every failure. So, use failure to increase your odds of success. Use failure as as stepping stone.

We were meant to live free. So, leave “what will they think,” “I don’t know how,” and “what if I fail” behind.

Exchange them for “it doesn’t matter,” “I’ll figure it out” and “I’ll keep trying!”