I went to a wonderful musical called “42nd Street” the other day with two amazing women in my life; my wife, LuAnn, and my mother, Karen. It was an incredible performance and we all really enjoyed it! 42nd Street tells the story of an eager young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her home in Allentown and goes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical called “Pretty Lady”. When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy is asked to take the lead role and she becomes a star.
This story is a metaphor of my journey right now as I work to create change in myself. I’m eager to be the star in my own Broadway show; my life! I really want to bring out the greatness that I know is there, and yet I’m scared of stepping out / stepping up. I begin to doubt like Peggy did, I’m timid, I procrastinate and avoid or make excuses not to do the exercises like when Peggy was so nervous she couldn’t even go in for the first audition so she showed up late; almost as if to fail on purpose by avoiding to even try. As the story progresses, though, someone was always encouraging her and telling her she had greatness inside and that she was truly talented especially during the times she doubted herself the most. Those around her saw the talent in her that she had a hard time admitting to herself. Oh she knew she could dance and sing and had dreams of being a star, but her belief was lacking.
Suddenly after the leading lady breaks her leg, Peggy is asked to take her place giving her the opportunity to be the star. Although scared she finds the courage to say yes to the Director. Then the hard work comes. Five weeks of 12-14 hour a day practices; day in and day out – repetition, repetition, repetition. Still she struggles and has doubts, BUT she puts in the work day after day, she’s held accountable by those around her, she finds a deeper meaning to push on and all the hard work pays off in the end. When the curtain lifts she steps into her greatness with courage facing her fears head on and becomes a star. She was a star all along, but the hard work, practice, repetition, persistence, encouragement, and accountability is what helped her transform before the curtain ever went up.
I’ve certainly experienced a lot of resistance which comes in the form of fear, doubt, procrastination, and even skipping of exercises, but as Peggy experienced by sticking with it and practicing day in and day out transformation can and will happen and is happening even if I’m not always seeing or feeling it.
The time for courage, faith, and persistence is right now! As Og Mandino writes in his book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” “The prizes in life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning, and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. I do not know how close it lies unless I turn the corner.”
My journey to being the best version of myself possible is way too important to give up. I promise to persist until I succeed just like Peggy!