Finally confronted my fear of speaking. My table at the HMSA and Mom’s in Hawaii Mom-O-Rama event.

This year has been bursting with challenges most of which have been stuffed into the month of June. But I’ve never been one to turn down an opportunity out of fear. Instead I’ve bombarded my inner critic with positive verbiage from the likes of

1. Sue Monk Kidd on Super Soul Sunday, in which she says:

Well, you know, as I get older, I try to love the uncertainties more than I do the certainties.”

To embrace what we don’t know is one of our greatest challenges isn’t it? And yet when I look back-my wedding day, the birth of my son,  my grandmother’s funeral, this past Mom-O-Rama talk with Moms in Hawaii and HMSA have also been a life changing experience. It’s what makes life feel magical. Although I’m often full of anticipation and fear, I’m almost always grateful for the growth and opportunity it gave me.

2. Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art continues to push me to face my fears professionally.

The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear, then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist…

The pro keeps coming on. He beats Resistance at its own game by being even more resolute and even more implacable than it is.”

Pressfield teaches me that my goal isn’t to wait until I’m fearless. My goal is to understand that fear is part of the process. It’s to realize that part of being a professional is to accept the discomfort, plan, prepare and then even though I might feel unworthy, inexperienced and awkward and do my best anyway.

3. Glennon Doyle Melton teaches me, shocks me, and makes me laugh until I’m weeping as I read each highlighted passage to my husband in Carry On Warrior:
Every little girl is told at some point that the world does not want to see the ugly, afraid, secret version of her. Sometimes the people who tell her this are advertisers, sometimes they’re people close to her, and sometimes they’re just her own demons.

And so she must be told by someone she trusts that this hiding is both necessary and unncessary.

She must be taught that, in fact, some people will want and need to hear about her secret self as badly as they need to inhale. Because reading her truth will make them less afraid of their own secret selves. And she must be taught that telling her truth will make her less afraid too. Because maybe her secret self is actually her own personal prophet.”
Her words make me feel brave-not by doing anything amazingly courageous, but just by virtue of sharing my truth. It pushed me to express personal experiences that my normal introverted self would cringe at sharing. I’m so grateful for this. It helped me to realize that some people may not accept this gift of honesty with kindness, compassion or understanding, but it’s worth saying for the ones that need to hear it and will consequently receive it graciously.
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