I’m forever lost in my own thoughts of what I want to do next; why are my endeavors important, and how will my work be meaningful. I realized of late that some of the most important things I may ever achieve are often among the things that I shy away from – because they require me at times to do things that feel…uncomfortable…because they’re different.
Interestingly, I find myself dabbling more in the daring and different of late because I find the end results to be quite in alignment of what I’m hoping to obtain – a sizable positive impact that stems from my best work, and that got my wheels working.
It was a recent invite to speak at a church that first prompted me to update my photos. The signature piece that I’d used (It’s Time to Take out the Trash)” was adorned with a picture that was almost a decade old. I intended to take a quick pic and call it a day, unaware that my adventure would blossom into a full blown photo shoot; but, while I was there – something happened. I was prompted to try some things that made me – uncomfortable.
Different make-up applications were unlike what I’d known in my day-to-day routine. Different outfits weren’t like what I saw in my own closet. Jewelry and polish weren’t what I’d find in my own accessories.
I went from remembering what it was like to pose in the bathroom mirror as a little girl to attempting to channel America’s Next Top Model in front of a very real professional camera. It was initially nerve-racking! Yet there was something intriguing and mesmerizing about it all.
When I saw myself in the digital pics I was quite shocked. I thought, “Do I know this person?” But the answer was a resounding, “Yes.” Undoubtedly, I ended up enjoying myself far more than I expected, but for me such moments only send me deeper into reflection.
I realized that despite my angst about finding that other part of Carla beneath the surface, the one who actually liked all things fierce, what I was initially afraid of (i.e., not being able to summon the confidence to be unafraid of a “photo shoot”) was surmountable if I’d just relax.
In fact, being honest with myself about who I could be inspired me to work harder at giving it the same energy as other tasks I approach, even when walking in unfamiliar territory. So I decided to brush in broader strokes…
Since then, I’ve taken on a number of new projects – also in unfamiliar territory – and I have to say, I’m feeling the fondness factor over and over again. In the education industry, I poured my passion into students this summer unlike my status quo of before and found it to be the most rewarding of my assignments in academia.
Partnering with an eager entrepreneur and philanthropist, I’m now an integral part and presenter for a cultural heritage festival that’s the first of its kind and on track to engage, educate, and entertain nearly 10,000 attendees in less than a month.
Cultivating relationships with a diverse array of associates, I’m also slated to assist in promoting a premiere wine festival, strengthening businesses ties and alliances that I could never have anticipated. And my favorite – I’m finally authoring the book that’s been ten years in the making – and I am elated! Stay tuned for that one!
I list each of these in particular because firstly, they are all undergirded by my passions: speaking, writing, and food (smile). But they share another common thread: I almost talked myself out of all of them due to constant doubts that danced in my head about why they wouldn’t work.
In order to push past my self-induced (and sometimes externally fueled) obstacles, I had to shock myself by doing what I thought I couldn’t…including blogging. Initial thoughts in that regard? “Well if I write, what will I write about?” “How will I figure out enough stuff to say?” And my favorite, “Who would read it?” Now nearing 5,000 views over the course of roughly 6 months, I’m happy to say I’ve answered all of those questions! I’m still…shocked (smile).
Take Away: There are so many things we are or could be great at that we don’t allow ourselves to thrive in. We cut off our potential before we even get started because we assume that we wouldn’t get very far. Sometimes – we’re wrong. I encourage you to shock yourself.
Count your costs, use your reasoning, and be sensible – but…do something positive that you’ve been longing to try – just to see how it comes out! If it ends up better than you expected, it may be time to move that inhibition to inspiration. What’s the age old adage? “You don’t know until you try.” I say give it a whirl. I’m loving my ride… You might enjoy yours as well…
#shockyourself, #catchyourdreams, #pursueyourpassion, #bethe1, #tryitnow
Picture: The behind the scenes look that put me in front of the camera with confidence.