I almost quit this week.
When I say quit, I mean writing. I gave myself all sorts of excuses:
I’m better at speaking…
Can my writing even have an impact?
Am I actually going to say anything that hasn’t already been said?
And the most defeating one:
Who am I to speak?
And while I’m not beating myself up for thinking it, I am scolding myself for almost succumbing to it.
Why do I not feel my voice is worth sharing? Why do I doubt the message that wants to come out? Why do I not realize my own power?
This constant question is that bit of self-doubt that creeps forward in us all… Who am I to _____? It’s easier to advise than to ask for help. We can give perspective, but it’s hard to take it from ourselves. Our insecurity mutes us, and we submit to the notion that we are not good enough. By caring so much about what others think when we speak, we do anything to avoid that feeling of sounding stupid.
We gawk and awe at the others we’ve placed on a pedestal and aspire to be like. Our admiration for brilliance makes us feel inadequate, resulting in our own paralysis. We create a gap between them and ourselves and tell ourselves we’re not enough.
We don’t have enough intel to realize that we all feel that way at some point. The fear exists in all us… But some of us choose to do it anyway.
Why is your story worth telling?
If you don’t do it, someone might not hear it.
What if they don’t hear it and you could have told them?
Whose life could you have changed that you didn’t because you thought your story didn’t matter?
We begin to feel insignificant and discouraged with the amount of content out there. It can be defeating and overwhelming to rummage through it all and find our way to stand out. We wonder how on earth we can make an impact.
But our stories and revelations come from our felt and lived experiences. Those unique events in our lives sculpt the type of story we tell and the place we’re able to tell it from. Our perspectives are influenced by our environments, our joys, our trials, and how those all intersect. Your synthesized story may be the one that finally breaks through to someone. Your essence, your nuances, your remix… Your voice makes your story beautiful. You give it meaning and bring it to life.
In an amazing soul conversation with my one of oldest, dearest friends at a coffee shop, I had the privilege of catching up with his life story I had missed out on over the past handful of years. As he talked of coming to terms with his true self and sexuality, I had an opportunity to engage in an emotional experience I would never have been able to without his story. I wanted to know; how did it feel to share, how did others react, how has that changed him, what was it like to connect with his truth?
It was at that point I realized why we all MUST share. Each of us has our own challenges that have brought us to this point and have beautifully crafted who we are. We go through these struggles, not just for ourselves, but for others. We go through pain, heartache, and difficulty so we can extract the lessons and what it’s meant to give us so that others don’t have to go through them to receive that lesson. In turn, we share these connected dots as our contribution to the world.
While our numbered heartbeats will not allow us to experience every event or emotion, our tribes allow us to learn and connect gifting us an extension to living through their experiences. We discover other parts of this world and experience things we couldn’t fully understand because our lens wouldn’t be able to give us the right perspective.
Through others, we can more fully live.
I realize some of my pain I’ve endured wasn’t about what it needed to teach me, but about how my views of the world and my twist could shape that perspective so I could teach that to the others that needed it from me. I went through it so they didn’t have to in order to learn what I’ve learned. It is my legacy to impart in the world.
What if the people who have inspired me decided their story hadn’t been worth sharing, that their viewpoints were just redundant… What would I have missed out on? I’m thankful they didn’t let their inner voice say no. I’m glad no one let them quit.
I can’t quit. You can’t quit either.
What would happen if your story isn’t told?
Have you felt this way? Is there an inner voice that’s held you back?
Check out a book I co-authored with a gifted group of writers, Before You Quit Writing, Read This.
Find my chapter: “Write to Create Your Own Mirror”.
Download from the Kindle Store today.