Why Are You Afraid To Be Great?

Why Are You Afraid To Be Great?

My friend Yolonda asked me a question the other day that I’ve been pondering this entire weekend. She said to me, “Why are you afraid to be great?” It’s not something that I hadn’t thought of before, but having a friend ask me that in a middle of a conversation where I was sharing an idea and asking for advice, really made me take pause. If other folks are recognizing the struggle that I have with myself often, it’s kind of getting out of hand, right? That’s a sign that something has to change, I have to do something differently.

Let me give y’all a little background. I’m not someone with a low self-esteem who doesn’t believe that I can achieve greatness. I’m even past the point where I used think I didn’t deserve to be successful, or wasn’t worthy of respect. Thanks to a lot of time, energy, and years of self reflection, all of those things have been worked out already. So what’s up, then? Why am I still not taking that step to take myself and my work to the next level? Why do I still make choices that keep me solidly at mediocre, rather than propel me into mastery? Why am I afraid to be great?

After several days of intentionally thinking about it, I finally have an answer. The problem is, I’m basing my future on my human capabilities. I can do this, but I can’t do that. Instead of having faith in the skills and the purpose that God has given me, I’m making decisions that are hinged on what I can do for myself. Looking back at some of the decisions I made when I was operating without direction from Him, I can attest to the fact that I don’t need to be taking any steps forward on my own. It just never, ever, EVER works out well.

How ridiculous is it that I would choose to be just okay when I have the chance to do more, help more, be more? How crazy is it to be fearful of achieving goals and finding success? I mean, just about every day, I look at someone else and think, “She really could be great.” I wonder how many folks are looking at me and thinking the same thing?

I don’t need another business course, or book. No websites, articles, or conference can teach me what I need about the next step for my future. Instead, I’m going to spend the summer getting reacquainted with the Word, and reflecting on the ways that faith and grace have manifested in my life.

I’m too blessed to just be good, y’all.

I’m not afraid.

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  1. Summer Len Davis says:

    I struggle with this too. I even bought myself a bracelet that says “Born to be Something” because I feel like I need a constant reminder that I was born to be greater than I am right now. I believe it, but I’m SO, SO, SO afraid to act on it. That fear has kept me from writing my book, it has kept me from making friends, it has kept me from even picking out a church the two years we’ve been here in Raleigh. I needed to read this. I went to church today for the first time in a really long time, and I really do just want to get reacquainted with my God. I crave that relationship, and the greatness that I KNOW at the very core of me that He has in store for me. I’ll keep you accountable if you’ll keep me accountable?

    • Mandi Buckner says:

      This. This. This AND this! We are more than conquerors and destined to be great! Not just be. This comment really spoken to me because we’ve been in Atlanta for two years and haven’t found a church home either. I’m having many of the same struggles as you. I need to get back to my first love. Because we only achieve our true greatness through him anyway.

    • BrandiJeter says:

      Let’s do it, @summerlendavis:disqus! Listen, I’ve had issues with church, too. This lightbulb for me came because the church that I’m in now, the pastors? They share their challenges and keep coming back to the main thing that we all have a purpose in this world. It’s not about being rich or famous, but being useful to others. If our work can benefit someone else, why are we stopping ourselves from moving forward? It’s crazy, and we need to stop!

  2. Brandi, this just playing so loud and clear with me. I have asked myself this question many times, and I think i know that answer. If we decide to fully unlock our potential, that means we must take risks. With risk comes failure. And oh my gosh, what if I fail? Does that mean I’m not great?

    No, failure does not mean you can’t be great. It means you have the opportunity to problem solve and adapt. Failure means you have the chance to grow. Failure means you have the chance to be great.

    And Brandi, I know your life has no ceiling. You will go as high as you let yourself.

    • BrandiJeter says:

      That’s it, @lori_latimer:disqus…RISKS! Having enough faith and…gumption (?) to go even when we don’t know what the final destination is. I haven’t failed enough, that’s the problem. There have been challenges, but no real failures as a result of risk. Gosh, I love this comment so much. More to think about! Thank you, Friend!

  3. Mandi Buckner says:

    Brandi I loved every minute and second of this. I applaud you for being brave enough to confront YOURSELF. We can look at everyone else and see the potential in them but for some reason it seems far fetched that we could achieve the same success in our own way in our own lives. You push people everyday to be great so I am glad that you are taking time out for Brandi to reconnect with THE SOURCE and finally be bold enough to be even greater than you thought you could be. xoxo

    • BrandiJeter says:

      THank you, @mandibuckner:disqus! I wish it were easier to make myself do the things that I push others to do. When Yolonda asked me that question, I had to stop and think for a second. It’s just like with our kids. How can I encourage others to be great when I’m scared to go there myself?

  4. Brandi, we all feel like this. You know what you need, you need a Brandi! Your very own personal cheerleader to say YES YOU GOT THIS! God has amazing things in store for you and you’ll find your way in your own time. I shared a quote on my page the other day that said …”Even though you think you aren’t in the place you should be in life, God thinks you are or you wouldn’t be there at all. #KingdomLife” … it’s coming Brandi! Can’t wait to see you rise high mama!

    • BrandiJeter says:

      You are so right, @areliscintron:disqus! I have my tribe, and you guys are amazing at reminding me that there is more to my life than just what I’m doing now. I appreciate you all so much for that. And yes, #KingdomLife…how can I grow it, how can I add to it! <3

  5. RattlesandHeels says:

    I love this post because I struggle with this at times. Thanks for being transparent! I was listening to podcast last night on this topic and what stuck with me was the emphasis that once you become successful even if you fail again it easier to build yourself up because you now have those skills. They used millionaires as an example but it was very encouraging.