Put Yourself to the Test
In general, I find standardized testing to be an insufficient measure of human skill and performance. However, I do still see the basic need to put OURSELVES to the test.
I used to hate "tests." Not so much the number 2 pencil and bubble-filling variety, but tests like drum juries and cross country meets. Somehow a pencil and a piece of paper in a quiet room rattling off information I just learned and would soon forget were easier and less scary than tests that involved both body and soul. I loved band practice. I loved cross country practice. There was fun, camaraderie and expression, even joy. I hadn't yet developed CONFIDENCE and COURAGE to see meets and performances as joy-filled opportunities.
In his book, How to be Here, Rob Bell tells us to "embrace the butterflies." I have begun to embrace these butterflies in seeking out opportunities to put myself to the test. Writing, speaking, coaching, running, drumming... These are all opportunities for me to SHINE and to inspire others! I'm not interested in a letter grade, I'm rooted in joy. I have found that when I sink into joy, I have courage and confidence. I play, speak and run well. I PR a little (pardon the terrible pun). I am able to face and embrace the butterflies to BE my best and DO what matters to me. This is the purpose of believing in yourself, to get yourself out of the way. It's not to think about yourself and be "self-conscious," but to get out of your head, play from the heart.
Every once in a while, it's good to put yourself to the test. Challenge yourself. Find your limits and your strengths. Go, be amazing and shine through it all.