“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Have you ever been afraid to fully be yourself and show the world who you really are? I sure have. I can remember two years ago, on a sunny day in Cuero, TX, walking into this adorable boutique called “Be” and being drawn to these trendy leather bracelets with quotes on them. One of them had the quote above by Anais Nin and it resonated with my soul, so I bought it and wore it everyday. Not wanting to be fully seen for fear of being judged has been a painful and personal part of my journey.
When I was in college, I had dreams of becoming the next Beth Moore (she is a Christian author and speaker). I even applied for an internship with her that didn’t even exist (I figured she’d create one for me, didn’t happen #entitlementgeneration). One of my first speaking events was at Denton Bible Church for a mother-daughter conference. I was not the keynote, but a breakout speaker for the event. I spent so much time preparing for my topic– I practiced at a Bible study with my Baylor cheer squad and put a lot of stock in public speaking being my dream career. When the day came for me to speak, I looked around the packed room, took a deep breath, and just went for it. Time flew by. It was one of those moments where I felt like I was meant to do this. It was a “too-good-to-be-true” moment and it scared me to death.
Shortly after that experience, I met Andrew, who happen to be an extremely gifted author and speaker, all by the ripe age of 22. The first time I heard him speak, I was blown away because I thought he was the most talent speaker I’d ever heard. What also went through my mind was sheer comparison. I thought about the talk I had recently given at Denton Bible and started comparing my talk to Andrew’s and decided his was hands down the best. I figured I’d never been as good at speaking or writing as Andrew, so I just gave up. Andrew always encouraged me to speak, but I was resentful that he was a better speaker.
When we decided to get married, I thought for sure I couldn’t be an author and speaker if that’s what Andrew wanted to do, too. I had a fear I would be compared to him and I knew he was more advanced (if you can’t tell, I’m just a little competitive). This was the beginning of me shoving my deepest desires and dreams into the depths of my heart. Just because we sweep things under the rug doesn’t mean they disappear. The emotions we hide are bound to come out one way or another. Mine came out in the form of jealousy, resentment, and blame towards Andrew (God bless him, he’s a saint for putting up with what I call my “delayed insecurity” years).
One of the life altering experiences that occurred for me while watching Andrew battle for his life was realizing, Now is the time to take responsibility for your dreams and start making them happen. I saw God gave Andrew unique gifts to use on his journey and God has done the same for me. It was time for me to stop making excuses and comparing myself to others and start taking action. When it comes to Time, Now is all we have.
When I saw how brave Andrew was in facing his greatest fears while speaking and writing in regards to saying what he felt called to say, despite the judgements of others (and he did get some nasty messages), he created courage inside of me I didn’t know I had! For the first time he seemed lighter and free from the burden of trying to be someone he was not. He allowed himself to be fully seen and heard. For the first time, I decided it was ok to show the world me– all my quirks and all my faults, regardless of who likes me and who doesn’t. I thank Andrew for showing me how to play big, listen to my own intuition, and follow the path God has set out for me no matter what.
In a couple of weeks (April 9th), I’m headed to LA to watch The Ellen Show. My mom got us VIP tickets, so I’m hoping to meet her and share A Gray Faith and The Ellie Project with her. I also want to thank her specifically for making me laugh my ba-donk-a-donk off one of the times I was driving to M.D. Anderson for one of Andrew’s chemotherapy appointments. I was listening to her book and it was the first time I laughed (really laughed) in a long time. I would have never considered reaching out to someone as famous as Ellen a few years ago, but doing this is a reflection of my new journey of being courageous and not being afraid to be heard.
I want to know what your dreams are and what you have overcome to make your dreams a reality. If you can’t tell, I love talking about dreams and one of my favorite kinds of coaching sessions revolve around helping my clients get clear on what they are. If you would like to spend some time getting more clarity around your dreams and how to make them a reality please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am so thankful for your love and support. Each week, I tap into my inner Baylor cheerleader and jump up and down and thank God for every time I get off a coaching call or get to connect with one of you via email or phone, that this is my life. You truly do bring me so much happiness and I can’t thank you enough for following my family’s journey! Go live your dreams and be heard! Blessings.