Who's that one person that seems to have it all together? I know you have a specific person in mind. The one with the best career, perfect wardrobe, and a Taylor Swift-esque girl squad.
Everything seems to come so easy for them. And the more you pay attention to their successes, the worse you feel about yourself.
Yep, I’m there with you. I get pulled into the comparison trap all the time. And it sucks. The more we strive for a social media worthy life, the less adequate we feel. This self-destructive behavior prevents us from taking risks. It prevents us from chasing our dreams. And it prevents us from learning from our mistakes.
Well friends, today I’m here to own up.
Earlier this week I decided to face one of my biggest fears. And I made an embarrassing mistake along the way. But instead of hiding from it with shame, I’m owning up and (even) laughing about it.
To date, I have not emailed my friends and family about Pattern of Purpose. Many know about my decision to leave a full-time, salaried job in 2015. Lots of them have already supported my business. But there are some whose opinions I fear. Those who have already made comments about how they “just don’t understand who would need services like that.” These were the people I was scared to share my dream with. I was terrified of rejection.
But part of being a small business owner is recognizing that you have to be your own biggest supporter. You have to believe in your vision so much that shouting from the rooftops about it ain’t no thang.
So I emailed 60 of my closest friends and family. I told them all about my path to Pattern of Purpose and who my dream clients are. Then I asked them to keep up with me by signing up for my newsletter.
I hit “send."
It wasn’t ten minutes before I got my first reply. Lots of congrats and then “...Just so you know, I clicked on the link to sign up for your newsletter and it didn’t work.”
Immediately I started thinking, "Maybe the doubters are right. Maybe I’m not cut out for this."
Then I checked out the link. Wouldn't you know it - I linked to “sing-up” not “sign-up.” I actually laughed out loud. How silly. Spell-check can’t even save you from that.
In that moment there were three options:
- Do nothing.
- Email the entire group back letting them know about my mistake.
- Change the URL on my website and hope the sign-up offer would detract attention from the page name.
Because I wanted these people to sign-up AND I didn’t want to bother them with another “whoops” email, I choose option three.
Truth be told, I can’t be on 100% of the time. You can’t be either. Those that act like they can be are only putting unnecessary pressure on themselves. And while it may look pretty from the outside, that’s got to be a miserable life to live.
I’m in the midst of reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. On the topic of creativity she says, “…people will stick you in all sorts of boxes…They may say flattering things about you, or they may say dismissive things about you…Let people have their opinions…But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else’s blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your creative work.”
I know there are things that you want to do right now but aren’t doing because of fear. What if rather than thinking about the worst case scenario, you dared enough to think of the best case scenario?
There will be mistakes. But there will also be heart-pounding successes.
What would you do today if you weren’t afraid of failing?
UPDATE: I sent a note to all my subscribers this morning telling them about my week of mix-ups. Wouldn't you know I overlooked a grammatical error. 3 for 3, ya'll! Maybe this is a sign to put down the computer for the rest of the week :)