Not everybody climbs trees like you can. And if you can do that, you can reach the sky. For real.
At first, it was about the challenge to get to the top. The taller the tree, the better it felt to succeed. Some trunks were harder to grip, and getting a good hold was the only way to start.
You had to test the branches as you went up, to see if they would support you. That was smart. You knew how to take care of yourself. That intuition is always inside you.
You knew you might fall and when it happened, the other kids laughed and you shook it off. Failing made you double down and come up with more energy. You knew how to keep going. That drive is always inside you too.
If the squirrels could scurry up the big trees in Michigan, why couldn’t you? No one could tell you no. That determination is a deep well for you to draw on.
All those trees you tackled scared your mom but she didn’t let it show and instead she encouraged you like I’m doing now. She chose not to filter the world through fear, but through opportunity and curiosity. She knew fear would slow you down and shut you down. That’s why she would sit on the side of your bed at night and again in the morning and tell you that anything was possible. There is always a way, excuses are not an option, and the best find a way, even if they have to be the way.
A tree was a hope and a dream and she and your dad taught you to go for it. They modeled the power of belief so you could encourage others to see past the forest of expectations to the trees that we are called to climb. These are the specific purposes unique to each of us, calling us to trust that deep inside us, we have what we need for that climb. We all do. We just have to believe it and listen to our childhood voice even when we aren’t a child anymore.
Remember how you climbed a tree without any thought of how someone else would do it or if they would do it better? You knew you were enough, and you are enough, even when your inner voice might be tempted to tell you otherwise. Those scraped knees? More pain is coming, but the blood and scars aren’t worth worrying about. That’s just more proof of your own epic challenge, that you are getting stronger by going higher. Your discipline and ability to recover is a gift. Hold onto it. Nurture it.
So even if people don’t see or recognize the tree you are called to climb, or they smile when you tumble, or they try to complicate your simple purpose, just keep going. Look down for your roots and up to the highest branches, and understand that your greatest strength is to be fearless.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Sending a letter to yourself aged 16 is a great way to assess and share the wisdom you have gained through your life and find meaning in your experiences, and even share them with others if you choose. A letter to yourself is a great act of fearlessness! I’d love to read yours.
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.