Earlier this year, I was in Australia for a break-from-winter, “summer” vacation. My friend and I went for a jog one morning around the Tan – a popular track around the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, Victoria. We came upon Melbourne Park, the sports venue for the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. We were just a few days late to watch world-renowned tennis players duke it out on the courts but decided a quick detour would suffice.
I don’t know if you were watching, but in 2017, tennis icon Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. And she was eight weeks pregnant with her first child!
In the HBO documentary series, Being Serena, Serena talks about this pivotal moment in her life. I want to paraphrase a thought-provoking address she gives in the documentary:
When people ask me if I’m ever scared on the tennis court, I laugh.
Of course, I’ve been afraid on the tennis court.
Fear has always been valuable in my life. Without fear, without doubt, without discomfort in what we’re doing, what is there for any of us to overcome?
The fear of failing is always there one way or another.
The struggle was important because it was just another way to build strength.
Losing as much as winning, having to battle for every match, every game, every point, that made me stronger.
What if we thought of fear that way? A part of life. A way to get stronger. A way to build strength. And instead of running from it, we lean in. Imagine how different things would be if we let fear paralyze us from great opportunities. Aren’t you most proud of accomplishments when there was a struggle to get there?
Let’s make a pact that when the next door opens in our lives, we take a moment to ask ourselves, is fear the reason that I do or don’t want to do this? Is being afraid worth deterring me from trying?
I want to be like Serena and play in the tournament despite the challenges and fear I may face.
When we base our decisions on truth, and not fear, we will overcome so much more in life and be better for it.
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Mary: Mary Devine is our Director of Marketing and Events. Affectionately referred to as “Make it Happen Mary,” she's been around since the early days of Advoco—making things happen! Whether it's planning exciting surprises for Connect attendees or spearheading new marketing initiatives, we're so happy to have Mary on our team. If you have a question for Mary, please send her an email.