One of the fastest, best ways to learn about yourself and expand your consciousness is by putting yourself out there in life.
When you put yourself out there by trying new, and possibly a little scary things, your true self and perceived limitations spring up to be counted. I had a great time watching my son put himself out there by joining a very difficult and dangerous competition, and watching how it changed him.
Last weekend at the end of our County Fair that my family is heavily involved with, my middle son, Aidan was a competitor in the Catch-it Contest which is where they put five kids and four wild four hundred pound calves in an arena and see who can put a rope halter on them and lead them into a livestock trailer. The kids that “catch” them get to pick out a heifer (young female cow) a few months later to do a two-year breeding project with it in 4H. The kids have to be chosen by the committee, write letters to their sponsors every month, attend monthly Catch-it lectures and events, and compete in the breeding class shows next year and the year after at the County Fair. Catch-it is one of the longest running parts of the County Fair, having been repeated every year for over seventy years straight. The hard part is the chasing down of the wild calf that would rather do anything on earth besides be haltered and stuffed back into a trailer.
When it came time for the competition, Aidan put on his helmet, got his rope ready and chased after the calves as soon as they said “GO”! He tried repetitively to grasp the calf around the neck, but the calf would step backward and throw him to the ground. A few times Aidan got the calf around the neck and held on as the calf did laps around the arena bouncing him around and stepping all over him. There were a few times we even thought he might give up when he had the wind knocked out of him repetitively. But he didn’t. He kept going and trying different ways to catch the calf like cornering him, roping him around the neck, tiring him out by chasing him up and down the arena, I have to admit, I was pretty impressed by his tenacity and ingenuity. Finally, he got the calf haltered and took him to the trailer with the help of one of his friends with him in the competition.
Aidan learned so many things about himself that day, including how strong and tough he was, what a good friend he had in the boy who helped him (especially because his friend didn’t catch his own steer and was totally fine with it), gratitude for his body and intelligence, how to push through when he was hurt and tired, how supported he was by all of our 4H families who screamed and yelled encouragement for him like he was their own kid, and a great sense of accomplishment for sticking it out. He will continue to learn over the course of the project he won.
So, when you think about doing something and you talk yourself out of it – which I’m sure you’re good at – you are passing up so many opportunities and connections and lessons about yourself. If you want to expand your consciousness, get up and put yourself out there! Go volunteer, sign up for a race, go ride a horse – or a bull if you’re into that, join a gym, join a hobby group, start a business, find a way to put yourself out there 😉