Do you remember the story of “The Wizard of Oz”? In this story we saw the characters of Dorothy, who had wanted to run away from home because she thought there was a better place somewhere. We also met the scarecrow who believed he had no brain, the lion who thought he had no courage, and the kindly tin man who assumed he had no heart.
Together the four of them set off to the Emerald City to find the wizard in hopes that he could bestow upon them these virtues and find a way for Dorothy to go back home.
Even though Dorothy had thought she had wanted to be somewhere else, once she arrived in Munchkin Land she realized that hers dreams of being in a different place were not what she thought they would be. Disappointed in the reality she desperately wanted to return to Kansas and be with her loving family.
How many of us can relate to their dilemma? For some reason we think there is greener pasture on the other side or that we do not possess the characteristics necessary to fulfill our dreams.
From a very young age, many of us are told that we can not do this or that because we do not have the talent or that we are not wise enough, or strong enough, or smart enough. What happens is that we end up living our lives in character with what others have told us about ourselves and in our personal belief system about ourselves.
This jaded view of ourselves keeps us from doing the things we dream of doing. Many of us yearn for a magic wizard that would come along and bestow the qualities we feel are missing so we can do more with our lives.
For this reason we are afraid to step forward and go for our dreams. We feel inadequate to fulfill the calling ahead of us. From past experience we can see none of the characteristics necessary for us to reach our goal, our destination.
What many of us were never told, is that we are all given those things necessary in life for us to move ahead, but because of our past experiences and lack of self confidence we tend to shrink back from going forward in our lives.
Many people do not realize that self confidence comes from succeeding in an area that we wish to excel in. Success itself is not a one time event. In fact, it takes many failures and learning from our mistakes that make us eventually self reliant and confident.
Remember when you first started riding a two wheel bike. It’s something that you really wanted to do. You saw your friends riding and were certain that it was something you could do. What happened? You tried and you most miserably failed. You would go a few short feet and then wobble and then bingo! You would fall again. Did you give up?
No! You got right back on that bike and kept practicing until you succeeded.
The great baseball hero Babe Ruth was known for his fantastic batting. He could hit a ball right out of the park! Did he just get up one day and say, “Hey, I’m gonna hit every ball out of the park”? No, of course not. Sure, it was probably his dream to hit as many as he could out of the park but he knew in reality he needed to practice and practice, and hit and miss and eventually he would hit more than he would miss. Every ball player has a batting average. This means that they hit a number of balls but it also means that miss a lot of the balls or end up walking to base or striking out.
We may have specific goals. We want to hit that ball, but we must be prepared to fail in order to succeed. As we fail, we learn better how to hold the bat the next time or at what angle we need to swing the bat to hit the ball head on. Even if we become super proficient at this, there will still be times when we just miss the ball. That is part of life, but unless we get up to bat we will not be in the game.
What about your dreams, are you giving them a fair shot. Sure you may not be perfect! Who is? The thing is, that you have to go after your dreams and not let failure or lack of self confidence hold you back.
Just like the scarecrow, the lion and the tin man, we must go through the adversity and step forward in faith. Along the journey we will find that indeed we do have the qualities that we were longing for.