Seth Godin has a great post today about Going First.

If there’s one gift I want to give my children, it’s the courage to try new things and explore.  While that’s something I try to live by example, getting outside our own comfort zone is often easier said than done.   And even when it comes to my own kids, I find that I try to offer them advice and guidance, but I want them to hear it not as warnings, so much as “We tried this path- maybe you can try a different one and see if that works better.”

I try to tell my kids that my advice and even warnings are said with a deep love and concern for them, and wishing the very best for them, although it’s difficult for it not to sound to their teenage ears as a lecture, or Mom’s own fears, or overprotection from dangers more imagined than real.  I tell them this outright, so they know that I get it.

I still don’t know if they hear what I’m really trying to say, which is Spread your wings.  Explore.  Be yourself.  You are spectacular and creative and inventive.  Don’t listen to the Not Good Enough voices.  Believe in yourself. Listen to feedback, but distinguish this from criticism.  Take help where it’s offerred.   Trust and be trusting, but balance that with experience and reasonable expectations.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s you have to find your own path and niche.  It’s not easy.  But starting from knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, all together, you are very far ahead of the game in choosing the path forward.  But that sense of doing what’s right, and right for you, regardless of the thoughts and opinions of the spectators, is important.

And most of all, don’t sit around waiting to be picked, chosen or discovered.  Life rewards action, and you need to put verbs in sentences, as I heard Dr. Phil say at one time.  Do.  Play. Invent. Create.  Believe.

Be the hero in your own story.