I’ve always been one to follow the rules. I trusted the guidelines put forth, as I was sure they would lead to success. I stayed in lanes that blocked off opportunities for me, for fear that these new lanes would hold new discrimination, new pain, and new failures. I did this until my soul shrunk and cried out to me, begging to be fostered, loved and celebrated. But my common sense kept pushing me to follow these paths. Stay with what you know. Explore only if a victory is guaranteed.
Playing small helps you stay small. Limiting beliefs turn into limiting actions, which birth a limited life. I’ve blamed the world, my circumstances, even the color of my skin for limiting my opportunities. But now I know, with every molecule of me, that is was my own pragmatism, turned pessimism that made me wither and resist grand prospects and extraordinary experiences.
They say if you use common sense, you get common things. And I’m done being common and I’m far beyond receiving average results for my reserved efforts.
I know now that my power lies in my allowance to let go, bypass the rules and step out of the stagnating box of common thinking. Because frankly “common” has never suited me well.
Candace Stephens is an expat and graduate student in Denmark, focused on unearthing the intricacies of culture and it's relationship to all facets of life. When she isn't writing academic papers on Intercultural Film and Organizational Psychology, she is either helping others tap into their true power through mindfulness or plopped on the couch watching the latest movie blockbuster.