WOW. That's the only word to express the emotion I am feeling at this moment. Susan Boyle WOW.
She dreamed a dream. A dream she held in her heart for years. A dream she never let out of her sight. A dream she clasped to even tighter when millions of people around the world laughed at her, said she had no right to it, and that she wasn't fit to be in competition.
Tonight was the final competition in Britain's Got Talent and Susan was the odds on favorite. It's been a crazy week for Susan. Reports have had her swearing at fans, cracking under the pressure and threatening to quit. Supposedly she was even kept in a safe house.
Without a doubt, Susan Boyle gave the greatest performance of her life tonight, singing "I Dreamed A Dream," the song that brought her to our attention just a few weeks ago and made us all examine ourselves. (I've written about Susan here, here and here). Watching her sing tonight, I cried.
Simon Cowell summed it all up better than I ever could. Singing her praises, he said "You had every right to walk away from this ... and a lot of people said you shouldn't even be in this competition, that you're not equipped to deal with it. For what? For you to sit at home with your cat and say 'I've missed an opportunity?' I completely disagree with that. Win or lose, you had the guts to come back here tonight and face your critics, and you beat them. And that's the most important thing. Whatever happens, and I've got to know the real Susan Boyle, who is not the person I've seen portrayed in the media, you can walk away from this, win or lose, with your head held high. I absolutely adore you."
How many of us have let our own inner critic or the world's critics talk us out of following our heart? I'd be lying if I said I always rose above my own fears. I don't. I battle them everyday, probably like most people. And sometimes they win. Sometimes I don't put myself out on the limb. Sometimes I resist being vulnerable. It's not always safe to put my whole heart into something and risk failure or looking silly.
If Susan Boyle had quit, I would bet money she'd spend the rest of her life asking herself "what if?" But she didn't. She kept going. How many times in our lives have we let ourselves off the hook because things got difficult? I won't tell you how many times I've done it or wanted to and I won't ask for your number either.
But what's the worst that can really happen? I get over myself, follow my passion, and don't quite get the result I was hoping for. So what? SPOILER In Susan Boyle's case, that's what happened. She came in second and she held her head high doing it. She was gracious in losing and that's a lesson we can all learn. She didn't win the competition and the money, but she won something even greater. She proved to herself and the world that she could do it. She followed her passion and lived her purpose on that stage. And I'm pretty sure she enjoyed the journey.
Personally, I am grateful to Susan Boyle for reminding me to follow my own dreams and heart and to quit listening to the voices (real or in my head) that tell me I can't.
Watch and be moved.