The ‘thing’ you fear the most is often the thing you most need to do
I wasn’t quite awake yet but I remember thinking, “Ewww…no way!”
The one thing I feared the most was being in front of people in a public way.
A great example of one of my BIGGEST, and most disappointing, fears was playing music in public. I wasn’t a horrible musician. I certainly wasn’t alone as a musician since all of my siblings were musical thanks to my parents who also loved music, but I couldn’t get over myself long enough to ever enjoy it.
There were plenty of time when my siblings got annoyed at my refusal to get up and sing for people who requested it. I knew they didn’t get how horribly frightened I was. They did their best to poke, prod and provide a safety net for me to move forward. Much to their dismay, however, it never worked.
Years later, after I married and had two adorable little boys, I found myself inside a recording studio. I was talked into it by some friends who heard me sing in church. From there I was given an opportunity of a lifetime, to produce an album in the music industry.
My children so young, how could I possibly leave them? I was told we might be able to have them tutored and brought with me on tour, but that I would have to be gone 9 months out of the year to promote and produce concerts. I simply couldn’t imagine it, besides, I was still scared of getting on any stage for fear of what others would think of me.
It was really easy to turn down the record producer’s offer just because of how afraid I was. Those involved however, felt I was simply being stubborn.
As expected, everyone in my family went crazy about that. My siblings, each one in their own way, tried to make music their life. I’m not sure they all wanted fame or fortune from it but I’m almost certain that none of them would have turned it down either. I couldn’t believe I, of all people, were getting the opportunity they wanted so badly.
I had was carefully processed the concept, and even tried to visualize myself on stages in the Northwest, but eventually tossed away the entire idea. The thought of my kids being stuck in a bus traveling around the countryside so their Momma could sing on stage did nothing for me except help make my “no” more resolute.
But if I were to get ruthlessly honest with myself, when looking back on that time in my life, I’d have to say it took some forgiveness to get past it. My husband was all for it and so were my siblings of course, I just couldn’t see it being a great thing for me or my children – ever. The good news is, I’ve never regretted it.
So much had happened quickly during that time and I had to forgive my husband for trying to push me in that direction when I wasn’t ready to go. He thought of the money, but I wasn’t the right person for the job- and I knew it. Why he couldn’t see it too, was beyond me.
After that experience, and seeing how people reacted, the fear of being on stage intensified. I got to the point where my husband would speak for me if I ever wanted to say anything in meetings. Ego had driven those fears deeper and deeper.
Today of course, this is hard to imagine.
After my brain injury in 2007, a lot changed including some of who I use to be. I no longer had the fear of being in the public eye, but music still wasn’t in my sights. One day a friend on Twitter asked me to put up a music video. He remembered me from high school and knew I could sing. I didn’t know this man, likely due to the memory problem, but I politely told him I would think about it.
Later that month he asked if I had created the music video yet and I told him no, but promised one day I would get up the courage to do it seeing as how it was something I had talent in. By then, I was learning to bust through barriers and grow beyond what I thought I was capable of.
Then one day last year, my sister came to spend the weekend with me. Being an incredible musician herself, I got up in the morning and asked her if she would sing something with me. She agreed and we settled on the song “Time In a Bottle” by the late Jim Croche. It was, in my mind, about the only song I could still play if I happened to remember the chords. Even if I didn’t, I would still play it.
She had showered and dressed for the day already, and I was still in my pj’s and bedhead. I asked her if we could record it and upload it to youtube so I could get this promise I made seven years prior off my bucket list. The thought about being in my jams and having a bed head didn’t bother me. Again, hard to imagine right?!
Here is the video from that morning.
The fact that I did it – says a lot about my personal growth. The fact that I posted it and told the man I promised seven years prior that I had done it – simply to make good on my promise to him – says a lot about my character. I knew I had to forgive myself for being so afraid to share the gifts God’s given me. I knew I had to take the ‘thing’ I most feared and get it done or it would hold me back for the rest of my life.
The week after I shot this video I signed up for an open mic session in the middle of downtown. I knocked it out of the park!
So this all leads to
Declaration #3 – Forgive yourself and others daily
Maybe there is one thing that you’ve not done because of fear holding you back. Maybe there is some anger left inside of you that needs to be let go of, removed once and for all. Whatever it might be – get it done. The freedom you’ll feel from it will help you knock anything you want out of the park too.
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