Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Year of YES, Getting Over Myself, and Letting Go of My Fears

Photo from Edible Reno/Tahoe Magazine
This last year and a half have been interesting for me.  I really felt like God has consistently been telling me to say, "yes" to opportunities that come my way.  Which sounds fine and dandy when said just like that, but the reality of it can be very difficult.

I know that SO often I hear other moms tell me that it seems like I "can do it all" or that I "have it all together."  But the reality of it is that I don't and I'm not.  I have fears and insecurities just like anyone.  BUT, I have been working really hard at overcoming those fears to open myself up to new things.

So this post is for those of you who also feel like you can't do it all, or that you don't have the right skills, or that you can't do that one thing that you really do want to try, or that it feels like others can do things naturally that you can't.  Here is a snippet of my last year or so, full of fun events and experiences, and my thoughts through the process of each.  I hope that inspires you to push through and try new things.  Because I promise you, in each of these photos, I was pretty dang afraid and insecure for a variety of reasons....and yet, I am SO glad I did each one!

I have found that the perceptions I've developed of myself can sometimes get in the way of trying new things.  I found myself regularly doubting that I wasn't "legit" enough to say yes to the opportunities that passed my way.  I found that the notion that there must be others out there who are better than I at xxx almost kept me from joining in on some of the amazing experiences I have had. So, reluctantly, I said yes to some really great experiences this last year.

Being a blogger means that sometimes people steal my stuff.  While many people ask before using a picture or idea off my site (like when PBS republished my Adding Fun activity on their site), some people do not.  I have time and time again found myself writing to other bloggers and sites, requesting that they properly credit and backlink to my site or remove my photo altogether.  One time, someone submitted my Adding Fun activity picture to a math contest in the UK, and guess what...they WON!   And yet, it was a stolen picture from my blog.  And most recently, a large, for profit site stole one of my pictures and used it over and over.  This was my first experience with writing a Cease and Desist.

Panel for the discussion on the Ethical Use of Intellectual Property
So when a fellow, local blogger heard some of these stories, she asked if I would speak on a panel regarding the Ethical Use of Intellectual Property.  To which I thought, "Uhhh....there MUST be others who know more about this than me!"  But I said yes, and although I'm pretty sure I babbled out my first response on the panel due to being SO nervous, I did it, found it was really fun, and heard some great feedback from many of the attendees who said they learned something new from ME.  All because I said yes.  All because I didn't let the fear of not being good enough stop me.  All because I chose to have confidence in myself and share the knowledge that I did have on the subject.

Photo from Edible Reno/Tahoe Magazine
Fast forward a month or two from that, another blogging connection landed me in our local Edible Reno Tahoe Magazine.  And yet through most of the process, I found that I felt like a fraud.  That I shouldn't be representing chicken keepers because I only have four chickens.  That I shouldn't be representing gardening because my garden was still smaller than I wanted it to be.  That there must certainly be someone out there who was better, knew more about fermentation, looked better for the camera, had a nicer house, and on and on....  And yet, I did it.  I pushed through my feelings of inadequacy and proudly shared the things I did know, even if I don't know it all.

Photo of my Levi from Edible Reno/Tahoe Magazine
Especially unique about this particular experience is that my kids were right by my side for the interview and photographs in our home.  I got to show my kids that this is something they could also do! 

Speaking on Mornings on Fox 11

Several times throughout the last year or so, I have been invited to come on the morning news.  The first time, I swear, I thought I was going to have a heart attack while driving to the studio.  My chest hurt SO badly because of my nerves.  I had NO idea what I had gotten myself into.  And, even though it got significantly better each time, I do still get nervous each time I go on, always wondering if I'm actually the best person to do it.

Speaking on Mornings on Fox 11

The point of this post is really just that everyone has insecurities and fears, and that's okay.  That mom who looks like she can do it all and has it all together?  She's probably just as nervous and crazy as you are.  You will never be the best.  There is always someone better, stronger, prettier, etc...who cares?  You be YOU and rock at it.  Conquer your fears.  Try something new.  Say yes to something that scares you.  Be willing to learn.  Don't be afraid to fail. 

I promise you-I do not have it all together.  And while I might look nice and calm in the pictures above, there were most certainly a million thoughts and fears and doubts running through my head.  But you know what?  The more things I try, the easier it gets to push those fears away.  So start saying YES.  You might surprise yourself :) 

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