If we could grab coffee together, which I desperately need, I would tell you how I’m really doing. I wouldn’t just say “tired” or “fine” or “busy”- because I think we’re all living with all of that in one way or another. I would tell you that I feel weighed down by the responsibilities that are on my plate right now. I would share that I feel like I’m going to let everyone down – and because of past failures, I’m afraid that if/when I do, people will leave and doors will close. I might even tell you that, even though I’m so very grateful for everything I get to do right now, some days I just want to run away from it all. Snuggling under a blanket watching Netflix sounds much better than calmly reading through emails that feel criticizing, bossy, and – even when they’re amazing – put more on my plate.
I probably wouldn’t tell you about the dreams and secret goals I have for my book, because if I did you might ask me about them in a few months and I would have to confess that I failed, or awkwardly find a way to tell you they happened. Any time I’ve ever set a big goal for myself, my first reaction is to keep it to myself. If no one else knows about it, then they can’t check up on me, judge my progress, or give me sad looks when I fail. If I’m the only one who knows, others can just be pleasantly surprised when it happens. I haven’t had great experiences with accountability in the past, and even though I know that sharing my dreams and goals with you would give you the chance to help, encourage, and pray for me – I’m scared.
Or I was. Until I read this amazing post on Facebook from Rachel Hollis following the launch of her new (awesome) book, “Girl, Wash Your Face.”
I go on social media every single day and tell other women to follow their dreams. I wake up and do live streams and tell you that your goals are important and worth chasing. I write over and over again that failure is a part of life. Failure means that you’re LIVING. Failure means you’re TRYING.
So what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t practice that in my own life? I called my shot… my big, crazy, audacious dream? I told 850,000 people I was aiming for something… and they all just watched me fail. But here’s the truth: if you aim at what you can hit, you’ll likely get there every time: never any higher, never any bigger, never any better. But if you aim far above your own head –even when you fail– you fly so much higher than you can imagine.
I am sad and I am embarrassed… but I would rather fly. I would rather dream. I would rather fall on my face over and over again. I will continue to tell you what I’m aiming at because I hope that if you watch me fall PUBLICLY and stand back up again and again and keep going then you’ll think, “What if I…”
What if you sign up for a marathon?
What if you go back to school?
What if you start that bakery?
What if you quit your job?
What if you take up hip-hop dancing?
What if you go into ministry?
What if you write a book?
What if you start a podcast?
You have dreams, I know you do and I also know that many of you hold back because you’re afraid that others will see you stumble. Let them watch! Let them see what grit looks like! Let them see the mistakes! Let them watch the missteps! Let them see you dust yourself off again and again and again and KEEP GOING.
Man. If that isn’t perfect timing after last week’s “stumbling blocks or stepping stones” post. When it comes to this “Holy Hustle” book, it’s easy for me to tell you about the past failures that led to this point. I could easily tell you how my first book proposal was rejected by every publisher. I could tell you that I gave up on the dream of even writing a book for years until a friend connected me with an agent who might be the biggest champion of this message God has given me. I could tell you about all the people who flat out ignored my emails over the past two years.
But those failures? They’re easy to share because they happened in the past, I made it through, and I can encourage you with the story of what God has done along the way. Inviting you in to watch me potentially fail in real time? Man. There isn’t a filter that would make that look pretty. I’d have to be honest about my emotions and my hurt, and have faith that it wouldn’t be too much for you. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of people behind me to make any of these dreams happen, so the odds are even higher that, like Rachel, if I call my shot, it’s going to miss the mark.
Whew. Ok – here goes nothing. I’ll share those goals and dreams anyway, because I want you to know that you’re important to me, and I want to be honest with you. And this whole book thing has been the biggest privilege, made possible because of the women who have come alongside me and helped make it happen.
“Holy Hustle” Book Goals
- That the message of this book would be a tool to show women that they are loved by God, have influence right where they are, and give them the freedom to work hard without shame and rest well without guilt.
- That when we gather a launch team, we fill it to capacity with women who are engaged, encouraging, excited, and willing to help get this message into the hands of as many women as possible.
- That when the launch week arrives, enough copies are sold for it to be considered a “success” by my publisher so that they might, in the future, want to take a chance on me again.
- And maybe, on something smaller than the New York Times, it might just make a “bestseller list” somewhere…by someone…
There they are. In a few months you might watch me walk through several of these failing in real time. And if so, I’m going to pray that I can celebrate the surprising small scale victories anyway as I learn from my failures with grace. And if some of them succeed, I’m going to pray that I use them as a reason to celebrate everyone who helped make it happen. At the end of the day, this book has never been about me, and I think that’s what has made it so fun.
- What goals/dreams do you have on your heart that you’ve been afraid to share with someone?
- If we were having coffee today, what would you share with me about how things are REALLY going?