Yes. I’ll say it. I should be excited. I should be jumping for joy. I should be eager to see what doors open.
But in this moment I am simply scared to death. Move the wine, Cheetos, and chocolate-covered cupcakes. Mamma is wigging out.
I started to keep it to myself and keep my anxiety private. But if I’m going to tell thousands of people every year to come out of their comfort zone, to dream big, to have courage, to be the pink zebra, to tell their story – then I think it’s only fair that I go first. And who knows, maybe in sharing my fear, it will help you with your own. And we can take this scary jump into whatever lies ahead together.
Countdown To More Exposure Than I’ve Ever Had
So. In case you haven’t heard. I’m going to be in a television show hosted by Brooke Hogan. Yeah, Hulk Hogan’s daughter. You can check out the show later. Next time we visit, I’ll tell you what it was like to be part of a TV show. For now, it’s pretty confidential. Today isn’t about the show. Today, selfishly, is about me.
“It’s not national television,” I tell myself when I feel like I’m going to pass out. “It’s just Amazon Prime.”
Then I went and looked up how many viewers watch Amazon Prime.
Then I heard that it’s going to be in 19 countries.
Now two more platforms, Tubi and Vudu, will be airing the show. (I’ll pretend like I know what those are.)
“I’m only in two episodes in the first season,” I tell myself to get me off the ledge. And then I remember how many hours and hours of film footage they got. Hours when I forgot the cameras were even on. Footage that I haven’t seen yet. Oh dear heavens, did they film me when I got tired and kicked off my shoes? What did I say when I thought nobody was listening?
You are my readers, my friends, my peers – people I have met all over the world – and I will always be just as real and awkward and messed up here in these blogs, as I was on that stage when we first met. So I decided to just let you know that the time has finally come, and I am scared to death.
The saying is true……sometimes the fear is not that we won’t get our dream answered – but that we WILL. I get that now.
I know that the day after the show airs may turn out to be no different than the day before.
Maybe nobody watches it.
Maybe it turns out that they cut every piece of me out except for thirty seconds.
Or who knows…maybe I didn’t make it into the show at all. (Though I am in the show trailer and episode sneak peeks.)
Maybe compared to everything else going on, I’ll just be a blip. Forgotten by the next episode.
Maybe this is WAY too much anxiety over a bunch of stuff that will never happen.
And it’s really not that big a deal.
Did you know that someone did a study and determined that over 60% of what we worry about never happens?
Am I using precious time feeling anxious and worried and stressing myself to the point of not being healthy?
Are you? Are you facing a mountain of your own, and while it may be a different one, you can totally relate?
What Am I Scared Of?
As you know, I’m a big believer in facing our fear head on. Naming it. Owning it. Claiming it. Determining the emotion and then replacing it with truth. Most motivational speakers will tell you to visualize success. Not me. Not at first anyway. Before I can visualize winning, I have to stare the ugly cold hard truth in the face. So it stops scaring me so bad.
So what am I afraid of?
Looking fat on TV.
Looking stupid on TV.
Sounding stupid on TV.
Being made fun of by strangers.
Getting a reputation for being an idiot and nobody wants me to speak anymore.
Having a character created by film people that doesn’t accurately reflect me.
Having my son be embarrassed by his mom. (Not worried about my husband. He’s used to it.)
Getting caught saying or doing something I shouldn’t.
Embarrassing my parents.
I think I’ll stop there. That’s enough. No need to dig up even more feelings I didn’t know I had. This is plenty.
Isn’t it interesting that what I am afraid of is all related to how others see me and feel about me? How I look to the world.
Isn’t it ironic that I’m on a show about changing the unrealistic definition of beauty and I’m worried about my size?
And it was my size that made me PERFECT for the show. I embody their point – that women don’t have to fit some certain “image” to succeed in life.
I guess old story lines are harder to erase than I thought.
Are you still fighting yours? Are you still living in direct correlation to your emotions? Still measuring yourself by what somebody else thinks of you?
It’s natural. After all, one of our most basic needs is belonging. We can’t help it. We were created with this need to belong. When we don’t feel like we belong, it affects us at our very core.
Pity Party Over. Time To Regroup.
Okay. I told you I would stay honest and real. But I also don’t like to stay here long. Doesn’t do me any good. It’s exhausting, and probably ends up making me sick. So I need to regroup. Maybe you do too and this is your chance. So here is where I turn this ship around and turn these emotions that don’t serve me into truths that do.
Remember what I told you when we met – emotions make a great gauge, but an awful guide. Honor the emotion, but get it in the back seat as soon as you can. Its only purpose is to serve as a trigger. Don’t let it drive the car. You won’t like where it takes you. So this is me rewriting my inner script. Out loud.
Emotion: I’m afraid I will look stupid. (This emotion pretty much covers it all – so I think I’ll just work with this one and then call it a day.)
Truth: I might look stupid.
I believe in honesty with myself – unless I’m talking myself into another glass of wine and then I will justify all day long. I don’t buy into this “we’re all beautiful they just can’t see it” concept. Sometimes we aren’t beautiful – and coming to the place where we don’t care is the win – NOT getting everybody else to change their definition of beauty. I want beauty to be as irrelevant to your dream as what color the shutters are on your house.
Wow. Where did that rant come from? That was pretty deep. Not quite on topic, but I think I’ll keep it in there. Makes me sound poetic.
But I do believe in being honest and facing the truth that I might very well look stupid. It’s a reality. I could come across as an idiot. There will be people who don’t like it. There will be trolls and haters who have nothing better to do than craft and hurl insults in the dark on their computers. It’s part of it. It will happen. I need to accept it.
What about you? Have you accepted it? Not everyone will like what you do. Not everyone will think you’re beautiful. You might not be the star you think you are. You might not be as good as you need to be. You might not belong to the group you want to belong to.
Ouch. That hurt. But in a way, something about it doesn’t hurt when I say it out loud and own it.
- I may look like an idiot.
- They may laugh and point at me.
- They may say I don’t belong.
- There’s a chance that I will be embarrassed.
The Truth Hurts, But The Truth Also Heals
As I’m sitting here facing my fear, while it hurts, it’s also healing. Very healing. Why? Because I’ve accepted that I might fall. I’ve seen the dark thing that could happen. I stepped into the story of failure and envisioned the blows I will receive. And I see myself standing on the other side, glad I did it.
Yep. That’s what it all comes down to. At least for me anyway.
If knowing that my dream has the potential to fail, will I jump anyway?
That’s it. The million dollar question.
And the beauty is that I already answered this question years ago – when I first called myself a speaker. When I wrote my first book. And my second. And my third. When I spoke at your event. When I created my online course. When I started Story Crafting Summer camp. Every single dream and goal has had this same potential for failure. And I jumped anyway.
Because my dream is bigger than my fear.
Because I only get one chance at life, and the clock is ticking.
Because I would rather play big and lose, than play small and always wonder what could have been.
Because even when I tried something that didn’t work, it led to something that did – proving that dreams don’t die, they just take a different shape.
Because the rush – while I’m flying – while I’m leaping – is so damn thrilling. Yes, that part BEFORE I land. Before I know if I made it. The part in mid-air.
Because there’s this one tiny chance that maybe I do have what it takes. And I’m willing to bet it all.
Because if there’s a Spirit that dwells inside of me – doing all the work – creating something bigger that even I can imagine – why wouldn’t I jump?
Because even if my kid might be embarrassed, at least he saw me jump. And maybe that’s the bigger win.
Because if one life is changed because of me. One person grabs onto hope. One soul in the dark sees a glimpse of light. It was all worth it. Every fear.
What about you? What is the truth lying behind your fear that needs its chance to fly?
The Final Countdown
Okay. I’m done rambling. I’m standing here beyond my fear now. Excited. Eager. Confident – that no matter what happens, I’ve got this.
I’m thinking you’re standing here too on that ledge. Desperate to jump and you just needed someone to hear you whisper. I hear you. Let’s do this together.
Grab my hand.
Close your eyes.
Hold your breath.
At the end of the day, I don’t believe that our success or failure is determined by where we land. But in whether we had the courage to jump.
Please share these words with someone who really needs to hear them today.