Fear is the greatest enemy to your greatness. Not every risk will result in something amazing, but everything amazing will begin with a risk.
What possibility calls to you? What chance do you wish to take on yourself? What’s holding you back? Is it fear? Fear of failure, of embarrassment, of falling on your face?
Well, I’ve got some good news.
Sometimes you’ll fail.
You’ve got to be willing to do that.
If you have a dream for yourself, be it big or small–some brilliance in your heart that you can’t fully express because your loved ones won’t approve, or because your job is standing in the way, or because you have a reputation to maintain (a “reputation” whose boundaries were drawn out without your consultation at all)–if a hidden brilliance scratches at your door, but your fear of endangering your comfortable life is standing in the way of your full expression of yourself–I want you to ask, I want you to inquire of this comfortable existence:
What is the cost of this comfort?
Let me tell you about a time I took a risk.
I was teaching at Georgia Tech, in a respectable position that anyone would be proud of–and yet I knew that this career was not feeding my soul. I thought getting a PhD in English meant that I would be an artist when I grew up, but my career–indeed, the trajectory of my entire professional field–was not panning out that way. The academic-artist existence I desired had become a relic of the past. I knew that all of my talent and brilliance was wasted behind a desk, slaving over papers that no one really cared about, least of all me.
Yet, somewhere deep inside, I also knew: this is my one life.
Somewhere, deep inside, I knew: nobody in the world can love me enough to write this life for me. Nobody else can make it happen. I have to make it happen.
And so I said to myself, “If anyone is going to make a change, it has to be you.”
At this point in my life, I had a respectable job and a directly deposited paycheck for the same amount on the same day of the month every month of the year. Yet I quit that safe job after just one year postdoc, after twelve years of schooling and investing my entire adulthood toward this path. One year in, and I quit that job; I quit that paycheck; I quit that prestige. Why?
Because I believed in Lux ATL.
Even if no one else did.
Indeed, the amount of people that believed in me couldn’t even be counted on one hand.
However, I had taken the time to evaluate my talents, aptitudes, and vision, and I knew that Lux ATL was something worth believing in.
Nonetheless, I didn’t know for sure if my dreams were going to work out. Risks do not come with guarantees. But I figured, what’s the worst that could happen? I’d be living this exact life I’m living right now? Well shit, I was already there.
And so I took the risk–and here I am. Here I am, traveling the world, reaching thousands of women ready for my message, experiencing fulfillment I’d never dreamed was possible. Sometimes I still can’t believe it–this beautiful life I’m living. Yet here I am.
I was comfortable behind that desk, with that automatically deposited paycheck, but the cost of that comfort was this: Us. Me, reaching you. You, reaching me. This moment. The Stripcraft workshops I’ve taught all across this big world, those rooms of women with eyes and hearts overflowing with understanding: that was the cost of my comfort. You, my friend–you, the one I’ve always wanted to reach, seeking your face out from among the crowd of bored freshman. You. Us. This. These things were the price of my comfort–I just didn’t know it yet.
So if that little fear monster whispers to you, “This is pointless. You’ll never become anything better than what you are. Just stay where you are, where it’s easy”–you’re gonna tell that little monster to take a hike.
There is no love in fear. There is no growth in fear. Reject that shit.