It's easy to build self confidence and contentment in the privacy of your own home. I have done that for years now. No one to really see the cracks in your defense system. You can almost pretend they don't exist.
It's terrifying to put yourself out there and wonder.
Will people like me?
How harsh will the judgements be?
I put myself out there when I speak, when I write, when I invite you in to share this life with me.
I have built my career on being authentic and real and transparent, but recently, those limits are getting tested in changing waters.
I never realized how vulnerable it would feel to ask people to support you. To walk alongside you and say, "I want your dream to come true!"
Because...well...what if they don't? What if they were just being nice?
The reality is, I only have a voice because of you. I could write blog after blog, but if no one reads it, then it isn't serving its purpose.
I could write a brilliant faith evoking message, but if no one shows up, then it can't bear fruit.
And I could write a wonderful book full of stories that point toward kingdom living, but if no one buys it, then my ministry lays dormant. My ministry only exists because there is an audience.
The deep secret fear that seems to be coming up in full force lately is, "What if nobody cares? What if no one is listening? What if people will think its stupid?" And the big one for me is, "What if nobody likes me?"
What does that say about me and my ministry if people don't want to stand behind it?
For the last few years all of my speaking gigs have been lived out where I have felt most comfortable. My families high need diet being my excuse to not stretch too far outside my comfort zone when it comes to my career.
But here I am now, writing new material. Searching and preparing for gigs I have never done.
And now I am writing a book. Yup, I am going to do it and write a book.
This is all new territory.
It's scary as hell. Can I say that?
I feel exposed. I feel terrified. I feel insecure which I haven't felt in years and I don't know what to do with all those feelings.
What if you don't want my book?
What if it's all just a bad idea and I should go back to simply living. (Not living simple, that is something all together very different.)
To say "it's hard to put yourself out there" is a statement that doesn't quite convey the risk you take in taking a chance.
You put your dreams and hard work out there for others to experience, and the goal is to share Christ through it all. But its risky to invite you in. There was a beautiful TED talk that explored the gift of asking. You can watch it here.
But what if no one is listening?
(If you want to know more about the book, I'm waiting for the promo video to come out and then will invite you all into the project. I would love the company!)