Hi There! Recently, someone encouraged me to take a risk and apply for a new opportunity. An opportunity that, if I got selected, would make me pee my pants with fear and excitement. Deep down, I was unsure if I had what it takes, but the thought that someone believed in me enough pushed me over the edge. I felt the fear and applied anyway. I waited and waited to hear back, and finally the moment of truth came (drum roll, please)… HOLY MOLY, I was selected!
Have you ever had a moment like this? One that simultaneously elates and terrifies you? A few months ago, I was speaking at an event in Flower Mound, Texas, and the principal of Marcus High School heard me speak. Afterward, she came up to me, introduced herself, and told me Marcus High School would be hosting a TEDx event in the spring. TEDx is an international community that organizes TED-style events anywhere and everywhere — celebrating locally-driven ideas and elevating them to a global stage. TEDx events are produced independently of TED conferences, and each event curates speakers on their own, but based on TED’s format and rules.
She recommended I apply to be one of the speakers. I had completely forgotten about it until I received an email a couple of weeks ago from someone on her staff asking me to apply. I applied, but with a great deal of apprehension, unsure if I would get selected. I was supposed to hear something by this Monday, so I checked my email a little after 5 PM. Nothing. Mentally, I prepared myself for rejection, already thinking of a blog post I could write about overcoming disappointment and rejection. The next morning I got the urge to check my email first thing, and low and behold, I saw this, “Congratulations! Your idea was selected to be part of the TEDxMarcusHighSchool program on Friday, April 7, 2017!”
Confession: I had knots in my stomach all weekend at both the thought of rejection and of actually getting the opportunity. That’s so me. Every time I take on a new challenge I’m a nervous wreck inside. I always try to quickly say YES before my fearful thoughts beg and convince me to say NO. This method ensures I’ll commit to the risk. What inspires me to keep putting myself out there, even before I think I’m ready, are the feelings of confidence and contribution that come after I do the thing I was afraid to do. Anchoring myself to these positive feelings overrides my negative and insecure thoughts, which would normally hold me back from ultimately growing into my full potential.
It’s easy to coast through life, but I find I’m most fulfilled when I’m working toward a new challenge.
How do you want to challenge/stretch yourself today, next week, next month, this year? It can be big or small. Make it a priority to get into the habit of challenging yourself. Then imagine the self-confidence you will gain from doing the things you weren’t sure you could do. How will your life be different or better as a result of this?
You’ve got this! Please share because I’d love to encourage and support you!
I want to leave you with this memory: Today, I remembered being back in the hospital room with Andrew, watching him sign copies of his book while he was lying in the hospital bed. I recalled the moment it hit me I would use my voice to share Andrew’s books with the world. I didn’t know how, I just knew why. That why has carried me to the present day and to a new opportunity to share Andrew and the messages in his books with an even larger audience, in hopes of making a positive difference in their lives. God continues to open doors, and I will continue saying yes (while perhaps simultaneously being scared out of my mind) knowing He is in control. I say all of this to remind you that God has a special plan for your life. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. Trust Him and keep saying YES to the growth opportunities that come your way. Grateful for you, my friend. Love and Blessings.
PS – Once I find out all the details about the TEDx event I will let you know in case you’re in the area and want to come! I’d love to see you.
PPS – I’d love the opportunity to come speak at your next event! Please email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!
PPPS – Day 10 of Whole30! Feeling pretty great and pretty shocked I’m still doing this ☺ If you’re on the same journey, keep up the great work! You’ve got this!