I recently began the journey of exploring entrepreneurship in order to create, design and implement a business where I can use my skills, gifts and talents to have a positive impact on the world.
This is scary stuff - This whole “owning our strengths” and “making a difference” thing. Questions like, “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if I fail?” “What if I am not ____________ enough?” come up. You name it.
It can be confronting to go after what you really want.
So many people say find your passion and follow your heart (people like me) and I realize that starting out on a new path can be intimidating and vulnerable. There is a lot of self-doubt and insecurity that go along with putting your hopes and dreams out there. Many times I have asked myself, “who am I to be doing this work?” There are a lot of other people out there who are doing the same thing, and they are probably doing it better than me, so what's the point?
The point is I want more and I know that I can do more and be more.
I realize that all that stands in the way of where I am now and my future is me. Sure I can sit around and make excuses for all the external reasons and circumstances on why I am not where I want to be, but if I can own that it is up to me to make it happen then I can begin to see what is stopping me and holding me back. I am sure that I am not the only one who has felt this way.
So, what is it that gets in our way when we want to get going? When we want to create more value in the world? When we want to take that next step? When we REALLY want to go for it but don't?
Two Words - Fear and Failure
And here is the thing, "The fear of failure is actually worse than failure itself." My new friend David shared these words of wisdom with me a week ago and it is sooo true!
The FEAR of failure is actually worse than failure itself. Once we fail then we can get back up and try again. From the entrepreneurial blogs I have read and conferences I have attended recently, I heard it said over and over, "FAIL OFTEN" because the more things you try, the more you will figure out what works.
This is interesting since we live in a culture that is terrified of failure, of messing up and making mistakes. Yet - this is what we MUST do in order to really find our niche, our truest voice, our best stories. This is the key to finding our greatest purpose in life. It is in our failures or “opportunities for growth” (if you would like to call them that) that we truly learn the most.
“Clarity will not come from thinking about it - clarity comes from being about it and taking action.” (Thank you Josh Shipp) Taking action helps us get clear about who we are, what we want to do with our lives, what we are passionate about and yet most of us are sitting at home watching cat videos on YouTube hoping that the pizza delivery guy is going to knock on the door and tell us our life purpose. We have to get out there and start trying things.
But we don’t. Because we are scared. Scared of why might happen if we try.
It isn't failure that holds us back - it is the fear that does because we are terrified of the unknown. As creatures of habit, we want to be comfortable and stepping outside of our comfort zones can be scary and intimidating. So, we stay quiet, we hide, we curl up under a blanket and watch Netflix eating bon-bons instead of going out into the world because who knows what could happen out there?!
Our fear of failure along with the negative self-talk we endure is sabotaging our inner genius, our creative spirit and our ability to share our greatest gifts with the world.
"I'm not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, funny enough....yada, yada, yada" that voice could go on for hours and days and it is IN OUR WAY!
So, what is the counter message, the counter argument that we can create in order to quiet that inner critic?
Here is what I say, "Thanks for sharing, but I have some important work to do."
When I begin to hear those messages, one thing that I do is reassure myself that those messages are NOT WHO I AM - they are just one story in my head that I am making up, AND if I am making that story up - then that means I get to create a NEW story for my life.
“I AM smart enough, talented enough, good enough to go for it.” AND I will fall down and make mistakes along the way. That is how we learn and grow and get better. No one got good at ANYTHING by sitting around waiting for the world to happen to them. They went out there and got after it and that is my call to action you you.
What is it that you REALLY want? What are you waiting for? Go out there and make as many mistakes as you can and LEARN from them. Let got of that inner critic and let your damn light shine!
Everyday I battle my inner critic and everyday is an opportunity to choose a new story. One thing that has helped me on this journey is surrounding myself with people who see my strengths, gifts and talents so that they can remind me when I forget to believe in myself, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. As we all work towards creating more meaning and purpose in our lives remember this:
"You are not what happens to you, you are what you choose to become."
I HOPE YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME SOMETHING GREAT!