You are stronger than you know: A pep talk
I stammered. My heart clenched tightly between my teeth. My cheeks beet red, pounding with embarrassment. Willing it to be over so I could sit down, all eyes turned to someone else.
This was me reciting the French alphabet in high school.
Too. Much. Attention.
This was me whenever I had to present anything. Whenever I had to answer a question at school. At uni. At work.
I wanted to run and hide under my warm, dark covers with the company of a book. That was much better than being stared at by a bunch of people.
I used to think if I remained quiet I could be invisible.
But that doesn’t work. It never worked.
Let the world see you.
I sit here thinking. Wondering. Planning. Dreaming.
Yet I do nothing.
I am afraid.
Afraid to really go for great things. To show myself and find that I really am not enough. Afraid I am not smart enough. Afraid I will be laughed at. Afraid that I’ll sound stupid. Afraid that I’ll be called out for being a fraud.
I used to be content hiding in the shadows of mediocrity. I want out. I want to write to the world. For the world.
But I am afraid.
Go for it. You are enough and always have been. You must share your life, your learnings, your loves with the world. There are people out there who need to hear from you. It’s already happening.
These people come to you. These people need to be seen. These people who find comfort, connection, and validation by telling you about their lives. Their lovers. Their ex-lovers. Their struggles. Their tortured souls. Their life-changing experiences. Remember Kathy, Brooke, and Gina:
“In about three years too many people I loved passed away and I found myself slammed down by it all, feeling certain I could not go through one more round of deep sorrow like that again or I’d go nuts.” — Kathy
“I just know I need to tell my story bc I know for a fact i can help other people thru the horrific things i went thru and the awesome things i now feel bc of it…I would absolutely love it and be just ecstatic if you could write my story….I just have nobody left in my life. I am lost in a way.” — Brooke
“One date ended turned into two, than three. When we became intimate the first time that feeling of magnetic connection had amplified to the point it was overwhelming.. for both of us…I was comfortable being completely naked and that was not the case EVER with my ex husband.” — Gina
I am honored. I want to hear from more people like these. These dear people who have reached out to me, a stranger, and bared their souls.
But perfectionism holds me back from hearing from courageous, beautiful, strong souls like these more often. Perfectionism: the glamorous way of describing procrastination. It’s warm, cozy, and safe in my own head. I feel like I’ve accomplished simply by thinking, reading, dreaming.
Yet it holds me back from everything I am. Everything I could do. Everything I want to do. It holds me back from more deep, soulful, heart-driven connections — the wood that keeps my fire burning.
Screw perfectionism. It’s held you back for too long. Show it the door. Choose progress over perfectionism. Choose to be the person that changes just one life. One life at a time.
Should I try this or do that? What if this doesn’t work? I don’t know where this will lead, but I want to try something new. I have to try something new. But I am afraid.
Do what most scares you. Fear is a sign that change is needed. Remember that rock climbing competition you were too afraid to enter? At the final minute, you had to enter because you wouldn’t respect yourself if you backed down from the challenge. You couldn’t let it pass you by without giving it a go — no matter what the result.
Remember when you decided to raise your prices even though you didn’t think anyone would pay — but they did. When you believed in yourself, when you knew your worth, when you made it the norm, it became the norm. People see you as you see yourself…
I am still afraid.
Embrace your fear. Let it drive you. Let it propel you into the unknown. Know that you will be ok no matter what happens. Failure is feedback. Failure is progress. And you will be better for it.
Fear is a signal that you’re itching for change. You want to grow. To move forward instead of stagnating. It means you seek to be more of who you already are. Confident. Strong. Courageous. Wise.
Be not afraid.
But know that it is ok if you are.
Just don’t let your fear hold you back any longer.
You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.