Staff Writer – Katrin Callender

I stood shuddering before a closed door, pores raised and sweat trickling down my back. I stared at the window for quite some time before I dared to push that door open- even a crack.

Then I recoiled. But my best friend who had accompanied me, and who knew the importance of my visit, stopped me from retreating. She proceeded to threaten me, saying she would leave me all by myself if I didn’t go in and ask my question.

I weighed both options and finally stepped into the room; gripping the door the whole time as my knuckles turned white, and asked the individual within for the assistance I needed. And would you know it, he said yes, and success and several new friendships followed this first step.

Sometimes, other friends have been called upon to do the same thing. I am quite grateful when they do, though I will continue working on being able to do it myself. At other times I walk in their shoes, giving them the push to do what they want or need to do.

Giving such a push, especially with regards to decisions that do not directly

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affect us or those that stir up the strongest emotions, requires us to be considerate, firm and confident, and smart!

Often, we hesitate because we are afraid. We fear rejection and ridicule, we fear failing, we fear finding out that we are not good enough. According to some, we even fear our greatness at times. When our fears cause this pause, we definitely want to be able to move past them. These sully the future in our eyes and strip us of our hope and determination, and sometimes even replace them with fear and apathy.

It is at this point that a push from a devoted friend can work its magic. While we second-guess ourselves, the opportunity may not linger. We possess sufficient information to persuade ourselves to or dissuade ourselves from doing just about everything. And the more time we spend trapped within our minds, frozen because of our fears, makes it more likely that the opportunity will slip away.

A push from a loved one can help us to get past this stagnant phase and take action. And if the push comes from a true friend, one who really knows us, the act performed is usually the right one. And what follows may result in great joy.

As one who has been here many times in my life, I thank those who have pushed me in the right direction.  I hope I have been equally beneficial to those who I have sought to help.

Encouragement is needed by those who quiver in fear when making a decision or taking action in a given situation; it is the very sort of support that many need to begin to accomplish all they set out to in life.