“If the only reason you’re avoiding taking on a challenge is because the idea scares you, then that’s the reason to take it on.” That line comes from Steve Farber’s The Radical Leap, a great little book on leadership that follows the journey of a man who stands at the edge of his future but hasn’t quite figured out how to jump out and seize it.
The book introduces the idea of the “OS!M,” which for my purposes as a chaplain I’ve modified to OC!M – and it means the Oh Crud! Moment. Farber defines it this way: “…it’s the natural, built-in human indicator that you are doing, or about to do, something truly significant, and you are – rightfully so – scared out of your gourd.”
What I like about this concept is that it challenges us to do that which is good yet scary, those things we would often avoid out of fear, but might very well be the best things we’ve ever done. Committing to a cause, applying for a promotion, proposing to your sweetheart, forgiving someone who has hurt you, and confronting an increasingly bad situation are all examples of what can be both good and scary.
I’d like to challenge you to get used to that feeling of fear that always precedes personal growth; in other words, learn to feel comfortable with that knot in your gut that comes from being on the edge of something great.
As a chaplain I always want to see people find faith. You see, the reality is that faith and fear are always intertwined. In the Bible, in Psalm 56:11, it says, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” The idea is not to avoid fearful situations, but rather to pursue what is good, which will undoubtedly bring fear. The challenge, then, is to counteract fear with faith.
So go figure out what is good and scary, and go after it!