Do you have something that was once a dream of yours? Something that was on your to do list for a long time? Years have gone by and you were not able to achieve it because life happened? Do you find yourself thinking about those dreams and wishes and wonder may be it’s time go for it?
If you do then you are familiar with the fear of starting late. It’s quite frightening, that fear. It’s like a tug of war, on one end its your dream that you finally have the time, resources and energy to pursue after and on the other end it’s this fear. One end tempts you to go for it and soar high but the other end intimidates you with the fear of falling hard.
What if you fail? What if you can’t finish? What will everyone say?
I had this fear of starting late too. I have been observing this fear for quite some time now, the feelings, the emotions, the turmoils- all of it. It felt rather uncomfortable and disconcerting at times but I realized a few things about this fear-
Redefine starting late-
There are no fixed time to start most things. Allah(swt) blesses us with opportunities at different times and the timings are always perfect for each of us. What is a perfect time for you may not be a perfect time for me. So, I can start anytime and enjoy the blessings in resources and abilities that are available to me now to start my new project.
The blessings are not limited by time-
Allah(swt) decides on the blessings and they are not limited by time. So if someone who’s getting married at the age of 50 has the same chance of happiness as someone who got married at the age of 20. I would never know my chances of marital bliss if I am afraid of starting late.
On not being enough-
Again, Allah(swt) decides on the gifts that He blesses us with. He gives whom He wills and I learned to completely rely on His mercy. It took my some time to develop the habit of reliance as I was thinking if I am worthy of His mercy, but alhamdulillah my worth has nothing to do with His(swt) blessings. So now I feel more than enough since I learned to rely on Allah(swt).
The fear of result-
The real fear is really about the result. No one is afraid of writing a few lines but they sure are afraid of the result of writing- what if I don’t become a writer? You’re not afraid to run at a marathon but you are afraid that you won’t be able to finish it.
The irony behind all these fears is that we never have any control over a result or an outcome. It doesn’t matter when we start, we don’t control how we end. Allah(swt) decides the results and He can give you your dream result, irrespective of how late you started.
There are only lessons and experiences-
You will be less afraid if you consider all your efforts as trying and all your results and outcomes as lessons. So basically you only have lessons that you learned after trying different things. And don’t label the lessons as good or bad, as they all add to your life.
So, don’t let the fear of starting late be in the way of what you can become today. Start now, after all, you have access to all the resources and abilities through the blessings of Allah(swt) and you will have it all the time insha Allah.
Now, let’s learn Arabic together, shall we? :).