I feel so grateful today. I feel like the women in this picture! I've not been in contact through my Newsletter for a while - and the reason for that, is why I feel so grateful. Let me explain.
I embarked on a really amazing journey (that's kept me very busy). I started writing a book in December 2011. I was going to do it "the easy way" - self-publish, via Kindle. I spent the money, bought the tools to learn how to do that, and was prepared to spend hours to do the learning.
The Universe/God/The Infinite had other plans. I found myself extremely excited when in January 2013, a publisher synchronistically made contact with me - and 5 months later, my book was published. It was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me (apart from marrying Andrew!). I couldn't stop smiling for weeks.
This is not the most amazing part, yet.
I suddenly found out (like so many other authors do) that books don't walk off the racks themselves unless people find out about them. So I had to embark on yet another journey... that of learning to talk in front of audiences, to share with them what my book is about. That's always been incredibly scary to me... my favourite place is "watching" life from the back, not "being the life" in centre stage!
So since May 2013, I've found myself stretched in yet more ways. The book in itself was already a stretch - I felt quite afraid of what people might say about it, that it (and I) would be judged... And now, even more stretching... I had to start telling people about it!
The most amazing thing, that I'd like to share with you, is this. As I'm stretching in new directions, things that would have been FAR to scary to tackle a year ago, is now becoming possible for me. I would NEVER have considered speaking to an audience of 70 people 5 years ago - I would have run a mile then. Now, I'm preparing for an hourlong talk at the Celebrate Life Festival in August 2013, for an audience of 50-70 people.
I'd like to share with you that I did my very first "radio interview" on Blogtalkradio just one hour ago. Even 2 months ago, when I started thinking in this direction ("Oh no, I can never do that, I would stumble over my words an make mistakes!!!") I could not imagine it happening. Today, it felt natural, easy and just like a chat with a normal, caring and loving human being. I did not have to be "perfect", I made mistakes, I did stumble over words... and "so what"! My message got through anyway and I felt truly blessed for this amazing opportunity.
Who do we become in the process?
What I'd REALLY like to share, though is this: Sometimes we're presented with opportunities and we're scared to try. It may be something we really, really want - and the mind starts bringing us all sorts of "yes buts".
- What if something goes wrong?
- What if I can't do it?
- What if I fail?
- What if I'm no good at it?
- What if people judge me?
- What if .... (add your own)
Thing is, what I clearly realised today... the person we are when we start the journey, is not the same person who arrives at the end of the journey. I've gained SO MUCH from walking this road. I've learnt so much, I've grown so much.
The "me" who started writing in December 2011 could not have spoken on a radio interview today so calmly. That "me" could also not have spoken to 30 people at a book launch in Cape Town, nor to 30 people at another book launch in the quaint bookshop in Haenertsburg with 2 other authors present. That "me" would never, ever have been preparing for an hour talk in a very public place in Cape Town. That "me" would say "No, WHAT IF I made a mistake? I'd never recover from the shame and embarrassment!"
The "me" I've become, can do these things. The "me" I'm busy growing into, can see her way through doing those things, can even see herself enjoy those activities. The "me" I'm growing into, may even be capable of other things that the current version of me has not yet begun to consider....
I also realised that I don't have to be anyone else or pretend to be like anyone else. What I have to offer, is all that's necessary. I can just simply be "me". That's enough.
My message for you today
- What have you been postponing because you didn't believe you could do it?
- What dream have you given up on, because you might fail, or not do it "perfectly"?
- What is there you'd LOVE to do, and haven't begun because you thought you may have to stretch out of your comfort zone?
Start! You only have to take one step. Just one little step. I started with writing one paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. A few times. And it became a book. The right people found me. The next step was shown to me. I was not a "speaker" when I wrote my first paragraph. You don't have to "be" the person yet that you'll be when you reach your dream. You only have to take one little step today.
The rest will be taken care of, as you take the next step, and the next, and the next. As you take each step, your legs will grow stronger. Your stamina will increase and your fitness will grow.
Just one step.
In a heart-based journey, who we become is more important than the actual goal we accomplish. Yes, I have a book out there now. And I'm ever so proud of it. The bigger thing for me is I've grown into someone who can now attempt and imagine things I would not have a few short years ago.
Do it. You can take one step. You never know who you might become!