Do It Anyway
We all have defining moments in our lives, moments that, if we heed them and follow their call, determine the kind of life we live, the kind of human beings we’ll be.
On Thursday and Friday, I got to attend the Story 2017 conference. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s true: this conference was life-changing for me. As a creative, doubt and fear follow almost everything I do. . . fears and doubts like I’m unqualified or my story doesn’t matter or no one needs/wants to hear what I have to say...and on and on. Anyone else out there relate? Whether you’re a writer, a painter, a filmmaker, an artist, a singer, a photographer etc., perhaps you’ve held fears in your heart, allowing them to suffocate your passions, stunt your growth. Fears like...
My talent is weak.
I don’t have anything to say.
I’m a fraud, and soon everyone will know.
No one will listen to me.
I’m not important.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
From the very first opening line of Story 2017, those fears were confronted head-on, followed by avid encouragement to let curiosity take rein again and make room for passion to blossom. Here are just a few of the profound statements I heard from creative leaders and storytellers from all over the world. May they encourage and enlighten your creativity as well.
“Worry is just a misuse of your imagination.” —Harris III
“Stop waiting for the opportune time. The time to rise up is now! Your canvas is the consciousness of this generation. What will you make?” —John Bucher
“Reimagine risks as possibilities. Imagine the best case scenario instead of the worst case scenario.” —MacKenzie Huyhn
“We may not be able to change history, but we can write well the story we’re living right now and someday that will become history.” —Amena Brown
“Sometimes what feels like your lowest point turns out to be the beginning of a beautiful detour.” —Steven Speigel
“If familiarity breeds contempt and the opposite of contempt is curiosity, then maybe curiosity can help us be empathetic and compassionate.” —Danielle Bennett
“Even if you fail, won’t it have been worth it anyway?” —Jason Jaggard
“Every piece of art that has gained recognition or won an award is because someone danced with their fear.” —Harris III
So here’s what I want to say to you (and myself): what if you just went for it? That thing inside you, those dreams, that crazy it-would-never-work thought you have—what if you just tried and did it anyway?
Who cares if you don’t have a social following or a degree or a mentor or professional training. Maybe you just need to pick up a camera, cook a recipe, go on that first run, apply for that dream job, write that story, and DO IT ANYWAY.
Because in 10, 20, 30 years when you look back on where you’ve been, wouldn’t you rather have a hilarious story of success or a sweet story of failure rather than a deep regret and unexplored What If?
Just do it. Just go for it.
And if you need support along the way or just someone to cheer you on, let me know. I’d be honored to be a part of your dream.