Last month, I had a call with someone—let’s call her Leslie—who filled out the contact form on my website. She asked to meet on Skype, so I knew she wasn’t in the U.S. As soon as we jumped on the call, I learned that she was from Malaysia, somewhere I had never been, and she said she found me through my podcast with Bre, a woman who was feeling stuck in a job she didn’t like and ultimately became a makeup artist. This resonated with Leslie.
Leslie shared, “I’m working a job I don’t like, and I want to be creative. I love film and making videos, and I want to inspire people.”
She continued to tell me a little more about her life: “I fled the war in Yemen,” she said. “I decided that I wasn’t going to be afraid. I have a strong mind and decided I am going to live differently.”
Here was this brave, incredible woman with so much experience behind her, stuck in a job that didn’t inspire her. “I know I have something more to give, but I don’t know how to start,”she said.
Most of the time, when we’re stuck, it’s not that we don’t know how to get unstuck, it’s that we think we need to have everything figured out before we start. We’re thinking about what we lack, rather than who we can help. I invited her to picture the woman she wants to help. What is she struggling with? Does she feel alone? Uninspired? Similarly stuck?
I was so touched by Leslie’s story and drive. There’s something really beautiful about women coming together to inspire each other, but Leslie can’t possibly help the woman she wants to help without putting herself out there first. (And she can make a YouTube video telling her story right now, without quitting her job just yet!)
Though our stories are very different, I shared that I had similar fears when I started my own business. But if I let them hold me back, I would never have connected with her, and we wouldn’t have had the great conversation we just had. Think about it, how many other connections are just waiting to happen?
As we were talking, I realized that, in some ways, I was holding myself back, too. I never thought that I would be able to inspire someone across the globe, someone whose life is so different from my own. Yet there we were: bonding over the unique human struggle of wanting more and wanting to help others.
By the end of the call, Leslie inspired me to step out of my comfort zone. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t sent a newsletter like this one in what seems like forever. Sure, I can brush it off as a consequence of being busy. But the truth is, I let the belief that I’m not a good a writer hold me back. I can get so caught up in finding the perfect words that I end up writing nothing at all. That’s me living in my own head, dealing with my own fears of putting myself out there—just like Leslie and maybe just like you, too.
Let’s vow to change that. I’ll be writing more and getting more vulnerable on social media (I’m an introvert, so I haven’t been getting too personal on Instagram).
Now, how about you?
If you’re feeling stuck, I invite you to stop thinking about what’s limiting you and to start thinking about someone you can help or connect with. Too often we get caught up thinking about our own personal goals (and what we’re missing in order to achieve them) that we fail to think about the lives we could change if we just moved forward. So, tell me, whose life do you want to change?