I had a big problem.
A few years ago, I felt an unexplainable pull to bring my faith, life coaching skillset and education into my humor and satirical platform. But it was an awkward transition. I mean, for a long time I was the top Google search for “Fart Girl” – and I was pretty sure no one was in the mood to take me seriously.
I had just landed an agent and was being looked at by publishers. If I did what I knew in my heart I was supposed to do and went “off brand” – could I lose the best opportunity of my life?
Would I lose followers and income and destroy everything I built?
I engaged in lots of hand wringing, theatrical whining and I cried those kind of pitiful cries one does when you’re on a diet and gain 5 lbs. Life is just one hard, unfair, heaping fireball of crap.
Instead of running to the throne, I ran to the phone. Prayer? Okay, yeah, whatever – but mostly I needed my smart, successful friend to tell me what I wanted to hear, encourage me and make me feel better about things so all those icky feelings of fear and insecurity could temporarily go away.
But she wasn’t returning my texts. Which were frankly hard to miss because they were the size of a Tolstoy novel. Did she not understand the urgency of my problem? After a week had passed, I went from pissed to hurt to writing her off all together. What friend abandons another friend in crisis? A garbage friend, that’s who.
Then one afternoon, she texted me back. She apologized for her delay and told me she was in her hometown with her family. Her father had terminal cancer.
Welp, I’m an a@@hole!
Despite her grief, she still offered to hear more about my fears and help me find a solution to my problem.
Um, no need. I see the solution clearly now.
My fear is stupid.
Most of our fears are.
It’s not to minimize the very real grip fear and anxiety has on us.
But putting that fear of ours into perspective helps us see things differently, and realize we might be just the teensiest bit silly.
The quickest most sobering trick is to imagine myself complaining to someone who’s been through some shizz.
I mean, really. Complain to Rosa Parks about your fear of starting a blog. It’s fine, she’ll totally relate. “But Rosa, what if I get mean comments? I’ll die!”
Talk to Gloria Steinem who received more death and rape threats than flies at a BBQ about your fear of rejection. “But Gloria, I can’t try to make new mom friends – what if they don’t like me?”
Or complaining that you don’t have the time to nurture your gifts and talents to the mom who lost her arms and legs to a rare bacterial disease, yet still makes her babies a nutritious meal with some salad tongs she somehow grips with her elbows.
How about Queen Esther who faced a horrifying dilemma? Do nothing and witness a genocide. Do something and get beheaded. Now go tell her you’re afraid to ask your boss for a raise.
I mean, it’s a little embarrassing.
I’d like to think Queen Esther would make a terrible life coach. “Really? You’re afraid to put your paintings on Etsy? I was a sex slave for cripes sake, get out of my chambers! Oh, and that’ll be $150.”
One of my favorite quotes of all time came from Queen Esther’s uncle Mordecai. As she suffered over what to do, he said, “Who knows, perhaps you were made for such a time as this.”
Perhaps you are too. In fact, I know you are.
To truly be happy, you must grow. To grow, you must be brave.
And you are a brave-ass woman. Deep inside, really, you are.
But sometimes we all just need a little perspective and a good sense of humor to remind us.
I go much deeper into this and more in this week’s podcast you can stream above.
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