When I was much younger, my brother and I used to spend a lot of time at my grandparents’ estate. Back then, we didn’t have iPads or video games or internet and we definitely didn’t have social media. What we did have was story books, coloring books, tea parties, a soccer ball and lots of grounds to run and jump and kick and play in. So we ran and jumped and kicked and played. One of the games we played was hide and go seek. This is the game where players hide and the object is for one person, the seeker, to find the players who are hiding. The more ‘hiders’ the seeker finds the higher his score, but the really good ‘hiders’ – the ones with experience – cannot be found. So sometimes, the game has to end. To do this, the seeker announces, ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ and the ‘hiders’ that were not found come out of their hiding places.
Reflecting on 2018, specifically, how I good I got at hiding behind excuses when I chose not to step out and pursue opportunities that came my way, reminded me of those games. To be clear, I am not talking about stretch goals, I just didn’t want to put myself out there because I didn’t want to step out on a limb for fear that it might get cut off from under me. Some of the time this looked like overthinking my options until the opportunity passed. At other times, it was neglecting to stay ready so that by the time the opportunity came and I got ready, it had passed. Further still, it was me hiding behind all the other things that I could have delegated to other people.
For sure, very few limbs were cut off from under me – after all, if I only step out on very few, carefully selected limbs, the probability that they’ll get cut off reduces exponentially. But living like this ensured that I was not able to achieve much. After all, there’s no ROI* on anything hidden.
So I’ve made a decision to stop hiding. I’ve said to myself, ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are.’ And I’ve come out. I know that I could get hurt, but I also may not get hurt. And getting hurt is a risk that I am willing to take, considering the return that I am expecting.
*ROI = Return on Investment. It is what a person gets when they invest something.