How dramatic the transformation is when I turn lioness
how dangerous courage is
how beautiful too
how tingly the feeling when you throw caution to the wind
when an introvert speaks
you know that little mustard seed’s got a fire
how revolutionary to be humble in spirit,
but courageous in character.
The weight of this bravery
both heavy and powerful
how sensitive and warrior I am at the same time.
How powerful strength is
when you don’t know that it is there.
One of the most distracting things about being an entrepreneur is wanting to do right so badly that you fear doing anything at all, especially if everyone is pulling you in a lot of different directions or telling you why you shouldn’t do this and that. But as I said on one of the podcast episodes, I often do what I am afraid to do, so much so that people don’t think I am shy. Even my own blood sister said I was outspoken. This had me thinking. ‘Surely, my sister would know me enough to know.’ And sometimes you do need someone outside of yourself to reveal the truth of who you are, a truth maybe even you couldn’t see. The truth is that I am a very private person but no one ever changed the world sitting at home in the dark. So, though afraid, I step out to try things that disturb the fear in me. Things that make me go, “I don’t know”, are the things I strive to do. That’s courage. Not the absence of fear but the presence of it while you act on whatever it is that’s making you afraid. Being afraid, but doing it anyway.
I was so nervous at my last signing and I wanted to use being late as an excuse to leave. In fact, I was going to walk in and reschedule. That was my intent. I had literally made up my mind that I would just do the evening signing but guess what? Most people came to the morning signing, the one I was too afraid to do. The one outside of my comfort zone. Had I just did the evening signing, I would not have sold many books. The people just did not show up in the numbers I’d anticipated.
So what am I saying? What is all this about? It is about leaping.
Do what you are afraid to do. Jump. Take risks. Don’t wait until you got it together to put yourself out there. Remember, faith is the expectation of what you can’t see because if you can see it, then what is there to expect? So go. Take the first step even though you can’t see the whole staircase. Publish that book even though you don’t know if people will like it. Start that blog even though you don’t know what to write about. Record that first podcast or YouTube video even though you don’t think you will get much support. Start that business even though you don’t know how successful it will be. The joy is in the not knowing! If you know you’re going to win then your dreams are too small. Why would I race a 4-year-old? I know that I am going to win. There’s no challenge. So leap. In the words of Lisa Nichols, ‘leap afraid and then gather your courage on the way down.’
The trial is the mask triumph wears until we are ready to receive what has always been ours. We live in a world where faith has lost its meaning, its vigor, its gloss. Woe to those who walk the Earth when faith has lost its shine. Who are we when faith has lost its power? Dare us to believe that something we cannot see is still ours. I dare you to believe that what you cannot see is still yours. What you cannot taste is still flavor. What you cannot hear is still music. We are far too busy chasing opportunities that aren’t ours to chase, forcing connections and misunderstanding the link between pain and growth. So we miscarry our blessings because of the labor pains. Too caught up in disappointment and heartache to endure the struggle long enough to find the strength. Too physical to see the spiritual. Too impatient to wait for what has not yet come. Too anxious to see that everything we are trying to be we already are and that everything we need, is already ours.
This is probably the shortest of my podcast episodes, it’s only about eight minutes long.
Today’s podcast is inspired by Luvvie’s recent Ted Talk which is a good encouraging one. I have posted the link below as well as on the podcast description. (You can also find this on YouTube but I’ve only seen the audio version). Her analogy of the domino is a good one as well as on Skydiving.
I can relate so much to what she’s saying and while I am not about to go Skydiving, I love the analogy of feeling like you’re on the edge of that plane and being that domino and falling out of the plane. That very scary, uncomfortable and nervous feeling. People often laugh when I say I am shy. They don’t think I am telling the truth. That’s because I do so much of what I am afraid to do to step outside of my comfort zone.
I am not outspoken. I am just thrusting myself from the edge of that plane. I am just taking risks. Striving to be that domino by facing my fears because fear paralyzes. It literally freezes you into place and halts your progress. This is because you’ll always be concerned about what people will think, what they will say and how they will react. Rarely do we consider the few people who will listen. The few who are listening and the few who are being impacted.
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Maya Angelou said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” No one likes to struggle because the pain, of any kind, does not feel good. In fact, many of us probably spend our entire lives seeking to struggle less. To reduce the chances of pain and heartache in our lives, of embarrassment and of shame.
The only problem with this is that the butterfly is supposed to struggle. It is how it achieves its beauty in the first place. The butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without this struggle, the butterfly will never, ever fly.
To my beautiful butterflies out there, don’t try to circumvent the struggle, don’t bypass the pain or override the alarm. Let what needs to happen, happen and listen to what it has to teach you because the struggle is necessary for the growth. The struggle is good if you want to fly.