Aim for long-term goal, not short-term payoff

Brendan Wynne

Brendan Wynne
Brendan Wynne

There’s a scientific study that says if you stand in a superhero pose for just five minutes before a job interview, a big presentation or a really hard task, you will not only feel more confident, but you will perform measurably better.

At least, that’s what Amelia Shepherd says on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Regardless, if these results are accurate, or if such a study even exists, I believe it’s true.

In the past month, I have undergone more “new” in my life than I have ever experienced. I’ve started new classes that deal with subjects I’ve never seen before, I’ve started a new job that has put me through the wringer and I’ve spent more time doing things that deal with a 30,000 foot view than I care to admit. And by “30,000 foot view,” I mean things that don’t have a short-term payoff – things that take weeks or months to see any real results. When those goals seem so far away, keeping myself motivated gets so much harder than I ever realized.

I am constantly reminded that the scariest aspect about any new class, job or opportunity is the looming possibility of failure. It’s a cruel joke that the thing you want the most can, so easily, be the same thing that scares you to your core. It’s never easy to come to terms with that. It’s never easy when you realize just how long the road to your goal is.

But it is so worth it.

I’ve never been more uncomfortable, and I’ve never been more scared. I cannot recall a time that I have wrestled more with my “fight or flight” response than I have in the past few weeks. I could step back and concede that this job, or this class, may not be for me, or I could hold my head up high, puff out my chest and make the best of it.

Today, I choose the latter.

I choose to embrace the scary. I choose to embrace it because once you’ve made it to the 30,000 foot view, it is incredible. When you can see that same long, jagged road from the other side, it is something you will never forget. When olympians step off that podium, gold medal draped around their neck, they don’t tell reporters that it was easy. They tell them it was worth it.

So, put your hands on your hips, puff your chest out and hold your head up high. Embrace the scary. You won’t regret it.

Brendan Wynne is a mass communication junior.