I recently submitted an essay to the NYtimes.
Yep, I gasp as I type that.
Knowing that the chances of the essay being accepted are very slim. And yet, that doesn’t stop me anymore from submitting and practicing being with the comfort of rejection in order to have a chance to say what I want to say.
And here’s the thing – this is a muscle, a skill, a practice to put myself out there, to stand for what I believe, to honor my love of writing even though there is uncertainty, rejection, and criticism on the other side.
I had always loved to write. As a child, I had more courage to make time and space to write. Yet, as I got older, I also internalized the message that when you are good at math and science, that’s where you put more of your energy. My heart feels deeply sad as I type this. I wrote a fair bit during my childhood but never really understood or truly appreciated this love of mine until much later in life.
And then as an immigrant in the US, I told myself my grammar wasn’t good, I was a non-native English speaker, I had nothing new to add to the conversation and somewhere I internalized the message that I shouldn’t write. Yep, my inner critic kept me small and I am sad to say that for many, many years I listened to that voice and played small until I didn’t.
And my creative recovery took some nurturing and self-trust. It was in the third trimester of my first pregnancy when I made a commitment I was going to write – not for anyone else but to honor my calling to write and model that for my child and my blog was born.
And over the last 8 years, it’s my commitment to my voice, to my ideas, to my love of writing that kept me going. It was not waiting for the fear to go away or the inner critic to go silent because they are still a very active part of my journey but what’s shifted is I have more tools to bring more courage into the room.
It was often the act of writing, sharing my work, and detaching from the outcomes that gave me more courage to show up for myself.
Had I waited for that one perfect day when I’d have all the confidence, I would have still been waiting.
What is something that you are longing to do? What is something that is longing to come through you?
Will you give yourself 15 minutes this week to spend some time with that idea? It’s not about how big, shiny or successful it will get, what matters is you spend a few minutes honoring what is wanting to be expressed by you.