"I don't think I can do it. I mean I want to but I think I am having an actual anxiety attack right now"...
… I said to my friend while sitting in my car a block away from the bar where I was supposed to meet a guy who’d I’d spent two weeks exchanging poetic emails about who we were, where we’d been and where we wanted to be with. My friend pep talked me into walking into that bar for what was just a hare away from a blind date.
Three hours and a few manhattans later… that guy was telling me a story about being stuck in a cabin in the mountains during a snowstorm for a week. The utilities were down, and without running water or electricity, he relied on a wood burning stove for warmth and to heat cans of soup. There was something about the way he described the snow and the solitude that wove its way through a little crack in my heart that I’d mended dozens of times.
It wasn’t just that. He readily admitted his existential quandary of being raised a good God-loving boy and being drawn to renowned atheist Carl Sagan as well as the writers, artists and musicians who lived on the edge. Plus he didn’t run for the door when I told him about my wig collection and how I liked to randomly wear costumes to non-costume occasions.
I had no idea at the time but that guy was THE GUY. And a few years later we got married. As much as I love that one day when I walked down the aisle and he was at the end of it, It’s all the other days that make me so grateful for that pep talk from my friend and that I pushed past my fear and walked into that bar. Because, once I walked in, everything was ok. All I had to do was get myself out of my car and into that door.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I’d already done a lot of work to make sure that I was walking into the right situation. Like I said, I’d spent weeks pouring my heart and soul into emails and phone calls, holding nothing back, putting all my weirdness and insecurities out there. The chances that I was walking into what would probably be a great night were pretty high (even though my anxiety was trying to tell (or yell to) me otherwise.
First dates are hard but you can’t get to that moment where you’re standing on your porch and your stomach flips and you can suddenly feel every molecule of air on your skin and you have your first kiss with someone who you’re falling for. You finally get that whole “why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near” song.
You have to get past the fear to get to the good stuff.
“What if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like him? What if we work on paper but not in person? What if… what if… what if… There are 1.2 million what-if’s for anything that’s worth doing. The what-if questions are unavoidable. But where you have the control is in the answers.
Guess who tends to answer your what-if’s?
Yep, it’s your inner critic. Now, before you start hatin’ on her, remember… she’s only trying to protect you from getting hurt. When she shows up, open the door, acknowledge her presence and then, let her know that you’ve got this. Then, when she steps aside, guess who’s waiting around the corner to step in?
That’s right, it’s your inner badass. She’s there to answer those what-if’s from a place of love, esteem and courage (if you let her).
Maybe your “what-if” isn’t about a first date. Maybe it’s about making a commitment to yourself to live more intentionally or to be more creative or to finally start the business that’s been on your mind or to take the business you have and make it what you know it could be.
I don’t have to tell you all the things your inner critic would say to those what-ifs – you know that voice and what she says by heart. You’ve been listening to her for so long that her judgments feel like facts.
But they're not facts. They're fiction. The fact is that you are enough.
You deserve to create a life that makes you come alive. Everything you need to create the business of your dreams is there for you. You deserve to take the time to explore your creative impulses.
And the only one standing between where you are now and where you want to be is you. I know you have a laundry list of reasons (ahem, excuses) of why this isn’t the right time or you don’t have the resources you need, etc. But, you are the one who molds what could be just another groundhog day into that day that you take the first step towards what you want.
Now, what I didn’t tell you about that night when I met my husband is that when I walked into that bar… I had one last moment of self doubt before that “everything is OK” revelation. I ducked into the bathroom before he saw me. Luckily there was no one else in there as I had a full blown “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” locker room speech with myself.
In the end, it was my own pep talk that carried me across the room where I stood in front of a stranger and said, “Hello.”
You see, this pep talk that I’m giving you right now, it can get you to park your car, step out onto the pavement and probably even get you into the bar but that final step, that one is all you!
So, what is it that you’ll say to yourself in that bathroom mirror? Will you remind yourself of all the things that you’ve accomplished, from winning an essay contest in 4th grade to drinking enough water to putting money in your savings account to remembering to wish a friend happy birthday to making it through 2020 and every big or small triumph in between, they’re all proof that you can do great things.
Now, go into the bathroom and say all of that stuff to yourself. Give yourself the ultimate pep talk and then pick one thing, just one, that you can do this week to move towards what you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail.
If you want some accountability (and I know you do!) head to our Instagram and send me a DM to let me know what you’re going to do this week to get closer to your dreams. Let me cheer you along!
And, if your dream involves building a business you love… or exploring your creativity… or diving into self-care… or growing your community at the beach in California… join us at our Craftcation Conference! It’s five days featuring over craft & business classes and wellness & social activities at the beach in California.