When You're Scared to Make a Move

By Diana Vaden

Photo by Emily Fletke  @fletkefoto

Photo by Emily Fletke @fletkefoto

It is salsa night at Iguana's on 54th St. I’m holding up the wall and clutching a glass of "liquid courage,” which is clearly not doing its job because I’m trembling in my three inch heels.  

I’m about to Houdini, when this guy stands right in front of me and asks me to dance.  "Oh, I'd like to, but, um, I'm saving this piece of wall...” Really, I’m scared out of my mind. I want to dance, but I don’t want to look like a complete fool.

THAT’S MY LIFE:  SCARED TO MAKE A MOVE, CRIPPLED BY FEAR OF FAILURE.

But this man is persistent and not in a creepy way — which is so rare — so I say “yes,” half-heartedly. “I will probably regret this,” I think, as I set my drink down and give him my hand.

What happens next is shocking!  I’m dancing like I’ve never danced before.  This man is an expert. And as he leads me, I’m not feeling foolish.  Au contraire, put me on Dancing with the Stars! I’m laughing, twirling, and most importantly…staying on my feet.

FOLLOWING JESUS IS LIKE A PERPETUAL INVITATION TO “DANCE.”

Sometimes the invitation comes on a Monday morning, when I’m supposed to be getting ready for an audition, but the covers are over my head. I keep hitting the snooze button. I’m repeating this nonsensical mantra of control: “If I just don’t show up, I won’t be disappointed.” Then Jesus cuts through the noise: “I’ll be in the room with you. You’re not alone. Let me help you get through this day.”

Some days, honestly, I say “no.” But on the days I take Jesus’ hand, I’m laughing, twirling, and most importantly, staying on my feet. I don’t regret the days I say “yes.”

What does fear of failure look like to you?