Last Friday was the three-year anniversary of launching this website. As I approach each year’s anniversary, I reflect on what I’ve learned thus far. These are the links to the lessons I learned during my first and second years. As I reflected on year number three, I began to realize that I’m a completely different person than the scared, insecure, broken girl who started this site. Building this community has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me to heal, grow, and change my life from the inside out. I hope today’s post will inspire you to share your story so you can do the same.
Six years ago, I called my husband, Jer, crying hysterically about something that happened at work. He responded, “You need to quit your job, this isn’t healthy.” But we were so close to achieving a big financial goal that I convinced myself to stay. Over the next couple of years, I went through periods that were absolute torture, followed by a few months that weren’t so bad, then back to utter distress. Two years after that phone call when Jer told me to quit my job, something happened that made me finally set a date for my departure. Little did we know how that one decision would change our entire lives.
As things tend to work out when you set an intention, my departure came sooner and worked out more perfectly than we planned. Although I had decided three years earlier that I wanted to start my own community online, I spent the next six months trying to figure out what to do next. At the time I felt like I was procrastinating due to my fear of failure and propensity for perfectionism. But looking back I can see that it was all part of my journey and helped create the stories I share today.Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Click To Tweet
When I finally found the courage to hit publish, I played it safe. I wrote a lot about productivity and goal setting. I shared a little bit about my personal story, but not too much. I slowly became more comfortable and my message became more relatable. Things really started to change when I set out on my solo adventure to visit every State Park in Minnesota.
Interesting things happen when you spend weeks at a time alone in the woods. I began to recognize all sorts of limiting beliefs and defense mechanisms I didn’t know were there. I wanted to share this experience but cringed at the thought of making it public online. I decided to compromise and share these very difficult and personal experiences with my beloved email subscribers.
As I opened up and shared these personal stories, I began getting replies saying, “me too.” This was what I needed to hear to confirm that I had made the right decision to share my feelings of shame, imposter syndrome, and other limiting beliefs. I began having amazing conversations with readers from all over the world. We were connecting and healing together. I became more confident sharing my personal struggles and as I did, I found clarity about the message I’m here to share. As I unpacked these struggles, I started to heal. More importantly, I helped other people create lasting positive change in their own lives. I finally feel like I’ve become the person I’ve always wanted to be.I learned that my struggles were not unique to me. As I opened up and heard, “me too,” amazing things happened for me and for others too. Click To Tweet
What do you think sharing your story could do for you?
I imagine you won’t have the exact same experience I had. I suspect that sharing your story will bring you more of what you need most at this point in your life. I needed courage, clarity, and confidence and that’s what I got. What do you feel you need more of right now?Sharing your story will bring you more of whatever it is you need most in your life right now. Click To Tweet
You don’t have to start a blog or a podcast to share your story. You can share thoughtfully on social media or write someone a letter. Better yet, why not sit down one on one and have a deep and meaningful conversation.
IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE IT PUBLIC, HERE ARE A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS.
First, buy, don’t rent. What I mean is that social media is a wonderful way to connect, but keep in mind that you’re renting that space and could be evicted at any time. Build your home on space that you own by creating your own website.
There are plenty of ways to get started for free. If you’re serious about building something great, WordPress is still the best option. After using a number of different hosting services, I stand behind Site Ground and their customer support. Their starter packages are powerful and affordable. There are plenty of free themes available through WordPress, but I upgraded to StudioPress and confidently recommend their easy to use website themes.
Finally, don’t do it for the money. It takes a long time (if ever) to make money from blogs and websites. If you’re in it just for the money, people will see right through you. You’ll grow tired of it quickly and it will be a burden instead of a blessing.If you’re in it just for the money, people will see right through you. You’ll grow tired of it quickly and it will be a burden instead of a blessing. Click To Tweet
Although it hasn’t always been easy, I’m grateful I hit publish 157 weeks ago. I’m even more grateful for you. You will never know how thankful I am that you showed up, participated, and shared my work. Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for my amazing readers, I wouldn’t still be here today. So thank you.
NOW GO OUT AND SHARE YOUR STORY.
CHANGE YOURSELF WHILE CHANGING THE WORLD.
What story will you share? Share in the comments below or come say “hi” on Facebook.