For some people the thing that terrifies them most is traveling to some far away country or losing their earthly possessions. For others it is public speaking or simply asking someone out on a date. For me it was inviting people into my story of making music. It was extending an invitation to financially support my art, as well as put myself out there. I knew that this journey was going to, quite literally, re-arrange my insides as I set out to do it. It was as if I was walking toward a cliff with my eyes closed so I wouldn’t have to look at the drop ahead.
And I jumped.
Here is the thing - I could have (and maybe I did for several years prior) made many excuses for why it wasn’t the right time, or why I wasn’t ready, but I knew deep down that it was now or never. I knew that I would be one of those people who always talked about it to everyone, waiting for the right advice or for someone to magically do it for me. I have noticed that great things in life generally do not get done this way. The people that we want to hear from, that actually have something to offer our hearts, usually have a choice that they must decide upon themselves - alone with God and no one else.
Making a decision to step out into a heart calling is not achieved through people pleasing or perfection. It is done right where you are, ready or not. It is an instantaneous choice you stick to again and again. You go out and stay the course, without the promise of a perfect outcome. Faith is this very thing - the hope of something you have not yet seen, but choose to believe with all your heart. It is a beautiful and risky thing, and pretty uncomfortable when stepped into 100%.
I am sure someone told me long before that these kinds of journeys are full of mountains and valleys. I am sure I heard them with my head and only part of my heart. No one can prepare you for the leap of faith. Only then do you truly gain understanding that makes its way into wisdom.
So, I did all sorts of things. I got in front of my audience (that I wasn’t even sure was still there) and I sang songs. I talked about the stuff on my mind (even when I wasn’t sure I was making any sense). I tried to take creative pictures and post them (even when my “saboteur” told me people would think me vain and self absorbed). I made the weird leap into marketing oneself even though I am a musician for heavens sake! I asked people directly for their financial support (BARF!), I texted everyone I knew (sure that they would disown me and equate me to an MLM scheme).
I am not a photographer, I don’t have a marketing degree, I am not a public speaker or even a public figure, and I don’t have a huge audience that would guarantee I raise even half my funds.
What I did do was jump regardless.
I made a deal with God that I would keep my end of the deal. I would not (to the best of my human ability) worry about the outcome, I would just show up. I wouldn’t let imperfection or the opinion of others stop me. I would make time to get quiet, pray and meditate. I would stay positive about my craft and believe that this is what I was meant to do - NO MATTER WHAT. I grappled with the waves of emotion with as much honesty as I could. I just went for it.
That is the thing. Whether we get what we set out to get or not, how we approach it is everything. Just doing it, I discovered, is a complete win. What have we got to lose?
I can’t count all the discoveries along the way. I found so many things I loved in the process, and many of the giants that seemed so scary, when faced, were really not that bad. I even found that I liked doing things I was previously terrified of. The critical voices were faced and some were silenced. I came to believe that no matter what, it was going to be okay. I believed that this was worth it.
In the end, I made my goal. It is the kind of ending to a story that you want to hear. But I can say, wholeheartedly, even if I had not made my financial goal, I still would have gained so much. It did work out in the end. I chose to believe somehow it would, even if I didn’t have all the answers or preparation in place. And this has been a huge discovery for me. You just have to go for it. Do it scared. Do it imperfect
Do it brave.