Trusting Begins With Turning Off the “Can’ts”
I recently embarked upon a 30-day marketing challenge created and mentored by Jessa Hargrove in her #Heartfelt Business Village on Facebook. Why? Because I finally reached the point where I was tired of telling myself the enormous lie, “I’m not good at marketing”. I realized it isn’t so much I’m not inherently good at it. I simply need to develop the tools and learn the process. Little did I know, the learning process would kick me out of my safe little nest of oblivion with no excuses or remorse on part of the wearers of the boot planted none-too-gently in my butt.
Jessa already has me doing things I swore to the mountaintops I’d never do: starting a Facebook group (you can find it at Putting Your Whole Heart Forward). Creating a 3-day boot camp which I’ll present through Facebook Live. But even more, getting super serious about what I truly want to do, and how I’m getting there. The crazy thing is, I’m not going there kicking and screaming!
Reaching Our Potential isn’t a Smooth, Easy Road
Sure, I had a meltdown the day the assignment to create a group was published. But as often happens, I sat down to meditate, and the perfect idea came to me, full-blown and ready to launch. Thankfully my mentor and friend Linda Clay (who also introduced me to Jessa), of #Heartfelt Business Making was there to listen to me rant out what was really bothering me; the fear and the challenge of actually keeping people engaged and interested, before the fog cleared and I was able to see how much I could do for others with a well-run group to support my purpose and USP, #MakeVulnerableBeautiful.
Every single one of us has enormous potential. What differentiates us from the Ruth Ginsbergs, Bill Gates’, Steve Jobs’, and my personal favorite, J.K. Rowlings versus the average shmos slogging through life with their dreams stuffed securely in a shoebox under their beds is whether or not we trust in ourselves enough to shut the dissenting voices down and just go for it.
Trusting Ourselves to Get Up When Leaps Become Falls
Making our dreams happen takes an enormous leap of faith, a huge amount of trust that we can and will pick ourselves up when (not if) we fall. We have to trust the failures are nothing more than a lesson in what doesn’t work, and doesn’t mean we have failed; just that the process we were using wasn’t up to the challenge and needs to be re-worked.
Sure, not everything has to be trial-and-error. We have a certain amount of road before us that’s been paved by others who did the trial-and-error process for us. It’s when we leave the paved road and embark on our own unique path that our stumbles may become more frequent; trust in ourselves is tested more harshly. It’s when we have to tighten the straps on our backpack or parachute, raise our head high, and most of all, shove those pesky fears into the afore-mentioned shoe box so they won’t hinder our progress.
The Best and Brightest Get Nowhere Without Guts and Persistence
There isn’t a single person out there who’s made a real success of their lives (and by that, I mean doing something which helps others rather than simply fattening their bank account) who hasn’t had their share of failures. Some of those failures have been not only spectacular but available for public consumption. Yet they got past those failures and the associated embarrassment, took the lesson, left the pain, and came out on the other side better for the experience in so many ways.
That’s what I’m looking at now. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve even given up on myself at times. More importantly, I’ve learned. I’ve learned I was always there for others but never for myself. I’ve learned to take the business ethics and commitment I gave to a long series of uncaring bosses and corporations and use it for myself and the causes and purposes I now have to pursue.
Trusting Our Dreams Are Attainable
If I’ve left the comfort and security of a regular paycheck behind to flounder for a few years on my own, I now trust it’s part of the process I needed to experience to discover what’s truly important to me. I needed to learn how far I would actually go to realize those dreams, and how unwilling I was to let them go. They might have moldered in a closet someplace for a few years until I got tired of moving them around while looking for something else; a purpose, maybe. Eventually I had to pull them out, look at them, try them on to see if they still fit, determine where alterations were needed, and get on with it.
The funny thing about our deepest most heartfelt dreams is they never truly go away. They haunt us in dreams, or perhaps nightmares. They pop up in a memory. We get signs from the Universe it’s time to wake up and pay attention. The more we see them around, the harder it gets to ignore them, and we either take action or go quietly mad. I’ve done both, and believe me, action beats madness (except the creative, actionable kind) hands down.
Accepting Help, Knowing the Delivery System Can Be Brutal at Times
But hang on when you do start paying attention, as the Universe gets rather wicked when it finally has your attention. The Universal head slaps come hard and fast, and trust me on this, you don’t ignore or forget a virtual sledgehammer to the side of your head. At times, you may even feel like you’ll be flung into the air without a net or parachute without time to prepare or try to hold on.
These days, my sledgehammers have names. Linda Clay. Jessa Hargrove. Not to mention my daughter and a few of the friends who’ve been around to watch this process unfold, and who are kind enough to keep their “I told you so’s” to themselves, but believe me, I can hear you thinking them (and you know who you are!).
The people who support us in getting past the fears, excuses, and wallowing aren’t necessarily gentle, because it’s not what we need. They support us like steel girders encased in concrete, but they don’t let us get away with anything which thwarts our forward progress; our achievement of those dreams that have our eyes blazing with an internal fire, intense as the sun, and equally unquenchable. They know, often from experience the journey isn’t for the weak of heart, so gentleness won’t give us the strength we need to walk through our own personal fires and emerge relatively unscathed on the other side, tough as tempered steel.
Dream Fulfillment is Only the Beginning
When we do reach the other side we know one journey may have ended, but somewhere along the way, another one began, and we won’t have time to rest or reflect before we have to pick up our newly stocked virtual backpack and take up the next challenge. It’s a funny thing about dreams. As soon as we get close, we add more pieces; they become more grandiose. Once we take the first major steps, we don’t really want the journey to end, so we keep adding destinations. Why not? Life should be an adventure. We were not born to sit back and watch it pass us by on the screens of our TV’s or computers.
For me, the dream began with the desire to be a writer. My genre was the broad field of Fantasy. Since I stopped denying my dream, I’ve finished the first draft of a memoir I couldn’t not write. I’ve drafted 3 fantasy novels and revised one so far. And I’ve resurrected a children’s story I wrote for my daughters 26 years ago.
I’ve learned writing is only part of my dream, and even that is only for now. I want to make a difference in the world and eventually get my introverted self up onto a stage and share what I learned while writing that memoir. Let’s be clear. I want to change the world. Don’t you?
Fueling the Dreams With Copious Helpings of Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the encouragers, the mentors, the butt-kickers, and those who have always been there for me, even when my eyes were tightly shut.
- I am grateful for the flow of ideas which come simply by writing 3 pages longhand every morning, aka my Morning Pages.
- I am grateful for the people who are coming forward to support me in the latest iteration of my journey. I’m humbled, and honored to have them joining my journey.
- I am grateful for the friendships which are blossoming now that I’ve left the cold, dubious sanctuary of my own space and time. In some ways, I wish I’d known the value of a community sooner, and in others, I realize I appreciate it more for having lived differently for so long.
- I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, encouragement, mentors, family, dancing, joy, writing, sharing, purpose, baby steps, giant leaps of faith, influencers, living well, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.