Invisible Crutch
When I was on the high school Speech and Debate team, my specialty was Extemporaneous Speaking. Each speaker is given three topics to choose from, and is given 30 minutes to prepare seven-minute speech, which has to be delivered at the end of those 30 minutes. Although the speakers can bring reference materials to the tournament to use in their speech, they are not allowed to have them during the actual delivery of their speeches. The only thing a speaker can have on them during the delivery of the speech is one small index card for notes.

During one of these tournaments in my sophomore year, I lost track of time, and completely forgot to write down notes onto my index card. I didn't even write down the question! I had delivered a speech on a similar topic before, so I just winged it. I don't know why, but I decided to take the card with me. For some inexplicable reason, I kept looking down at my card during my speech, even though it was completely blank.

Strangely enough, I ended up in the finals, and received 1st place. I stopped using a card altogether after that tournament. I soon ended up in the final round at every tournament, and even went to the state tournament.

Upon reflection, I realized that the card gave me comfort in case I needed to remember something. Sometimes I looked at my card when I drew a blank, and just wanted to look like the answer was on my card. But after that tournament, I realized that the card was just an invisible crutch, and was actually hindering my performance, not enhancing it.

An invisible crutch is exactly as it sounds. It's something that helps us when we need help, but it's something that's suppose to eventually go away once we are performing well. And we may not even realize that it's there. When we keep those crutches, they actually get in the way.

An invisible crutch could be sheet music you keep referencing when you play, even though you could play that same song blindfolded. It could be fast food when you know you should be cooking your own meals. It could be walking on the treadmill with minimal effort to avoid physical exertion rather than challenging yourself.

Sometimes a person in our lives can be an invisible crutch. We rely on them for help even though we know we can do things ourselves.

The point is we all use some form invisible crutch in our lives, even if though we know in our hearts that we are capable of performing without them.

Author's Bio: 

Young B. Kim is a writer, artist, serial entrepreneur, and the creator of ideavist™. Young's mission is to help people make their ideas happen through his writing, coaching, consultations, and through speaking engagements on ideation, creativity, productivity, and entrepreneurship.

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