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February 2016

I stepped through the door and did a quick scan. There was one guy sitting at an elevated table with papers strewn about. He introduced himself and I did the same. We shook hands. I stepped back from the the table and took a deep breath. Here we go, you got this, I told myself.

I had never auditioned for anything before, and I was a little bit terrified. It’s scary to be put on the spot and have to perform. Sure, I got to prepare something in advance, but my hands were still shaking. I could feel the nerves work their way into my brain, almost causing the disappearance of a 1-minute monologue I had so faithfully rehearsed for the last few days.

To my surprise, I remembered all the words, the pauses, and the expressions. After the audition, I didn’t care if I got a callback or not. I was just so proud of myself for getting in front of someone and delivering lines that I felt I had already succeeded.

You might be wondering why someone who is terrified by auditioning in front of people would seek this out willingly. The truth is, sometimes the things we want are a little outside our comfort zones. We have to step out in order to reach them, even though the path might be daunting.

My experience in acting is somewhat limited. Although I did play several roles in my older brother’s amateur films, I’ve never acted for real, “because that would be too scary.” Then one day I had a surge of bravery and asked myself, Why am I letting fear hold me back from doing something I’ve always wanted to try? I couldn’t come up with a good enough answer, so I decided to take action.

Lights! Camera! Action! These three words are all too familiar in filmmaking. This is the cue for the actors to perform the scene–to portray the emotion and words envisioned by the screenwriter. The word “Action” is like a starting gun. It’s a green light. Without it, the scene wouldn’t get shot and the film wouldn’t get finished. It’s a no-brainer in the film world, and it should be a no brainer in the real world, too.

Action is a key ingredient to accomplishing your goals and overcoming your fears. It’s easy to be all talk and no walk, but the walk is what gets stuff done. Think of your own life like a movie. Each day is a scene, and in order to make a great movie, you have to take action. Don’t be afraid of a plot twist–they make things interesting. Make each scene count and commit to your role, no matter what.

Take a deep breath. Say it with me, “Lights, Camera, Action.No matter what your screenplay holds, go out and put your bravery in action today!

The Year of “This Is Me”

this is me

This is breakout year!  2015 had uncovered some untruths about my personal value. Hidden in a small shadowed place was the belief that I was only valuable to people for what I could do for them rather than for who I am. Unwittingly, I’ve managed to carry this idea around and view life from its lens for many years. This deep hurt came from past experiences growing up in the confusion of divorce and other factors that I hadn’t fully acknowledged. It’s caused me to shy away and sometimes hide the best parts of me.

My freedom came in the form of telling God that I wanted my self-perception to match His perception of me. In 2016, I am still making that request to God. It’s painful to admit, but I need to find out why certain things bother me so much. When God searches your heart, He leaves no stone unturned. Thankfully our amazing Father knows how to transform us by taking us through different seasons.

This year, or season, is about my identity. It’s not so much about knowing who I am, but rather, understanding what that means. It’s about fully embracing how I’ve been created without apology. It’s about the phrase “I’m too much” no longer leaving my lips. 2016 is a picture of me raising my hands, laughing without embarrassment, pursuing without comparison, and slapping fear with truth.

What would happen if I owned up to everything that makes me who I am and no longer held back? What would my life look like if I valued my voice and shared my thoughts in the workplace? How much more would my business accelerate if I didn’t shy away from opportunities because of a fear of rejection? The exceptional life I want is possible. I want to see it. I want to know it.  I want to live it.

I am finally in a place where I see my value. Now, it’s time to lay it all out there because I am created with purpose. What I have is needed whether I realize it or not. Where have you held back due to a lack of self-value? What stifling lies have you believed about what you’re capable of? Knowing yourself the way God knows you will radically change your life and those who have the fortune of being around you. Choose with me to break out of the mediocrity that fear creates and pursue the real you. The world deserves someone just like you.

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