I am tearing down ancient barriers that I built a long time ago. They have been in existence for as long as I can remember. Over the last five years, I built them even higher, and then believed I couldn't overcome them, these obstacles of my own doing.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the very best you could possibly be? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually succeed completly, without a hint of failure? What would it take? Would it take great effort?

I have news for you. The only thing it will take is faith. I am a walking poster child for the "almost...but not quite" gang. All of my life, I have almost completely succeeded...but not quite. There has always been something holding me back, some little thing I did wrong, or chose badly, or reacted to that kept me from fully achieving my goals. I reached my goals in part, but would end up broken, beaten, and tired from the exertion.

The worst thing is, everything that caused me to fail was me. Due either to a lack of effort, a glaring error, or a miscue that somehow kept me from reaching the highest height, I always found myself "wishing" I could have finally reached the top of the mountain. It all stems from a lack of faith (or maybe a better way to put it would be a fear of complete success).

I do not know what has happened recently to change my mind. But I do know that even as I knew I was safe with God, I was afraid of fully succeeding. I was afraid of doing what I knew I could do to be my best at everything, to excel. I know...it doesn't seem to make sense, does it? How can someone be afraid to be the best they can be? How can someone stop just short of their goal all because of fear? Isn't that silly?

I sense that fear right now, lurking beneath the surface like a shark circling his prey, waiting for the chance to strike and destroy and devour. That is what fear does to us. But fear isn't an outsider, he is an insider. He isn't a curcumstance, he is our reluctance to live fully. I am certain there are things I still fear, things I have not done that I don't even know about because some fear holds me at bay. But a little more each day, I begin to realize that I can fully live, there is nothing to fear. Succeeding, excelling, reaching for the flag at the peak is not something to be feared; it is something to be embraced.

For as long as I can recall, I have stopped short because to me, ultimate victory was unknown. I had victories and celebrations, but I always stopped short of my ultimate goal. Some might say my goals were too high, while others would say I sabotaged my own success.

I say, I will be a victim of fear no longer, because strange as it may seem, I was actually a victim of myself.

Go on, it doesn't take any more effort to be the best you can be. It only takes a little faith, and a simple realization that what stops us most often is ourselves.

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