Monday Spark: Stretch Yourself.

Here is a story from when I was about 11 years old.

At my school, in England, we used to put on a full-length play by Shakespeare once a year.

I was a hopelessly timid kid, but somehow landed the part of Cassius in the play, Julius Caesar. I didn’t think I could learn hundreds of lines for the play, and I didn’t think I could get up on the stage in front of an audience.

But I did. And playing that part changed my life.

My teacher gave me the opportunity to really stretch myself, and to discover what I was truly capable of.

Now we fast-forward a generation to when my children were at school at about the same age. When I went to see their school “plays”, my kids were asked to learn maybe ten lines.

The problem here is that these schools no longer tried to stretch their students. And the students no longer had to opportunity to make a big, scary leap and discover what they were really capable of. In fact, they could go through their entire lives not knowing what they are capable of.

That’s a tragedy.

Now consider yourself, and the goals you set for your own freelance business.

Are you trying to really stretch yourself? Are your goals big and scary?

Or are you playing it safe?

If you are playing it safe, you’ll never crash and burn. But nor will you discover just how much you can really achieve.

My guess is that you are capable of way more. And I bet that if you set yourself some scary goals, you could achieve them and have a heck of a lot of fun along the way.

My advice – stretch yourself.

NOTE: If you want help in any aspect of setting big, scary goals, check out my coaching service for freelancers.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

4 thoughts on “Monday Spark: Stretch Yourself.”

  1. This is so true, Nick. We don’t challenge our kids enough – and we don’t challenge ourselves enough either (at least, in my case anyway).

    I don’t want fear of failure to hold me back. We can all take inspiration from the fact that all successful people have failed more than the rest of us!

    Thanks for your Monday Spark!

  2. Love this post, Nick! You’re absolutely right…we live in an age where our children learn to play it safe and do what they’re comfortable with, nothing more, nothing less. They’re taught to strive to be average.

    It’s good to remember that it is by taking risks that we achieve greatness. Benjamin Franklin took a huge risk when he flew a kite in a lightning storm, and his achievement was electricity. Just think what we might achieve by taking risks and stretching ourselves.

    Thanks for the Monday Spark and the inspiration!

  3. Great advice, Nick! Nice to see this in print, too. A good refresher from AWAI Bootcamp 2011. Thanks for all the training and insight. You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank you!

  4. Susan, hi. I’m glad you enjoyed my presentation! As you can see, I picked this one topic from the talk to share here, as I think it is an issue most of us should face up to. We could be more than we are!


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