“It’s worse to spend your life on the outside looking in, wondering what if,
than it is to try and dare greatly and risk the chance of failure.
Dare greatly; get in the arena and try.”
– Brené Brown
How much time, effort, and attention do you spend tending to the people nestled comfortably in life’s “cheap seats?”
The cheap seats are the people in our lives quick with cheap shots. The ones far more content to watch life from the outside looking in, ever-ready with a comment, a putdown, a judgement. The critics, the naysayers, the ones who, when you share a dream, go against the current, or try something new, are quick to point out:
Why you can’t.
Why you won’t.
Why you could never.
It’s hard not to listen to the cheap seats; they also seem so smug, so superior, so downright self-satisfied dissecting someone else’s efforts. Their unwavering certainty in our imminent defeat can quickly erode our motivation and confidence.
The Bleachers Are Comfortable For a Reason
For far too long, I gave far too much authority to the hecklers who had so much to say from the bleachers in my life. I let the shouts from the nosebleed section distract my attention away from where God was leading me, keeping myself small to avoid any possible jeers, boos, and taunts.
But, I’ve finally realized — there’s a reason why the cheap seats are so comfortable.
The cheap seats convince people that commenting on others’ attempts is a far better tradeoff than to get in the arena and try themselves; that calling out others’ failures is somehow better than experiencing their own.
The cheap seats cater to people’s fears, lulling their occupants into a false sense of safety, of duty, of doing what’s expected, so they never realize the truth:
The cheap seats are cages.
Or, more specifically, the cheap seats are plush, padded, cozy coffins where dreams, and divine purpose, and calling, and innovation, and growth, and curiosity, and all manner of wonder go to die.
We were made for the arena. No matter what the cheap seats want us to believe.
Today’s Soft Never
Today, we’re taking a cheap seat inventory. We’re lowering the volume on the voices that tell us we can’t, we won’t, we could never. We’re choosing instead to dare greatly — to get in the arena and try.