For as long as I can remember, I've had this somewhat irrational fear that I would have a party and no one, I mean NO ONE, would show up. I don't know why, I just have. When other kids had "normal" fears of heights or spiders or small spaces or plane crashes, here I am over here worried that me and my mama would have to eat my entire birthday cake alone because life would play some unreasonably cruel joke on me and none of my invited guests would care enough to come. #firstworldproblems
And that's not the only completely ludicrous fear I had. I'm sure I could create a pretty hefty list if prompted, but that's not the point. As I grew older I realized that I had forfeited so many incredible opportunities and adventures under the guise of simply not being interested, when really it was fear holding me back the entire time. And that's a very disheartening thing to learn in your thirties. So now I make it a point to do things that scare me. My entire career and platform revolves around catapulting myself out of my comfort zone with a 20- ton cannon. Y'all, believe it or not, hitting publish on every single Instagram and blog post or releasing a new book sends sheer terror throughout my veins.
Why? Because being a creator is not an easy gig. Even if you are the most confident person on the planet, you cannot control the universe's response to what you've created. You are putting your life, your thoughts and opinions, your recipes, your fashion sense, your parenting style, your advice, your expertise, your family, and your valuable content out there for the world to see, hear and experience. Succumbing to that level of vulnerability alone is heroic. But in this age of internet thugs who have complete liberty to hide behind a computer screen, pick apart your every word, and insert their own interpretations of your work, you'd better have thick skin and unwavering faith in what it is you're sharing. You better believe in the value of the work you are producing. You must resolve that what you carry inside your soul is worth sharing even if it only touches the life of ONE person. (Even if that one person is your mama or your four year old who thinks you hung the moon anyways.)
Life isn't going to be tidy and convenient and affirming all of the time. You won't always have an audience cheering and throwing confetti every time you do something notable or helpful. Adulting can be messy. Marriage can be messy. Friendships can be messy. Parenting can be messy. Kids are almost ALWAYS messy. So, life is messy and unpredictable and frustrating and certainly not Instagram-worthy; but more of a ugly cry, swollen eyes, runny makeup, snotty nose, sobbing so hard you can barely breathe or talk type of situation. But you've got to push past the pain to get to the purpose. Oh, you'll for sure feel awkward and alone and a little deranged and ridiculous, but you're in great company. Most great people have felt this way at some point along their creative journey.
So, who cares if I don't feel ready? Who cares if you don't feel ready? If you have something that sets your soul on fire with excitement and unrelenting passion, you'd better create it and put it out there!
Why?? Because the truth is that you'll probably never feel ready. And your life's journey is yours to shape and no one else's. No one else knows what works for you in your current situation better than you do. Because at the end of the day, you have to be happy with the life you've created. I don't know about y'all, but I'd rather put in the work, jump off the cliff, and pray to the good Lord that my parachute opens before I hit the ground, rather than spend the rest of my life wondering what kind of impact I could have made on the world if only I'd had the courage to get out of my own way.
So starting today, let's try something new. When you're given the opportunity to do something absolutely nuts and you feel scared, DO IT ANYWAY! And let me know how it goes.
Ps. If you haven't noticed, Big Magic is one of my absolute favorite books and Elizabeth Gilbert is my literary muse. If you need a little (or BIG) push finding and pursuing your creative purpose, GET THIS BOOK. You won't regret it. Pinky promise.