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2.7
November 19, 2018

This TED Talk just kicked me in the Butt.

For about 2 years now, I’ve been dreaming about a program I want to lead—and for about 2 years, I’ve been procrastinating.

Inspired by my time as an Elephant Journal Apprentice back in the Fall of 2016, I designed a virtual writing group, with the aim of encouraging one another along the journey of discovery. I planned to “soft launch” it to friends I knew in “real life” before unleashing it to the wild world of the interwebs.

I started creating content and got so excited. I didn’t want to sleep—that’s how excited I was. I registered a business name, ran my first (in person) workshop, printed business cards, hired a web designer, got a professional photo done, and joined my local chamber of commerce. I was checking off all of the things I thought I should be doing in order to bring my visions to fruition.

And then, like the sound of screeching tires—I stopped.

There wasn’t any one thing in particular that made me stop. I just, did.

Over the course of the past two years, I’ve been “graced” by about 36 thousand excuses: Overwhelm. Competing priorities. “New projects, ideas, and possibilities come rushing at me so quickly that I struggle to focus on one at a time.” I was running these excuses like a ticker tape in my brain, but I could also hear them coming out of my mouth when the people closest to me (who believed in my initial vision for the program!) would ask me about how things were going. There’s always something: the website’s not right, I don’t know how to write terms and conditions, I don’t want to rush this, and the biggest one—I don’t know how to price it.

A few weeks ago, my friend Erin said: “Watch this TED talk. Seriously. Watch it. You neeeeeed to.” Truth? I avoided it because I was afraid that it would do exactly what it just did.

Erin just sent an email update about her latest creative project. When I thanked and commended her for the update, she said: “I’m just a woman who wants to accomplish something, and I’m trying to take a bit of ownership of that.”

Cliche as it might be, her words kind of stopped me in my tracks a bit.

For months, Erin’s been asking me about my writing program. “What are the details? When will it launch? How can I participate?” and I’ve just continued along my merry ol’ procrastinating way. Here she was, ready to grab life by the horns. So I thought: “What the hell?” and (finally) looked up the TED talk she suggested: “The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer”.

When she spoke about real human connection, I sat up a little bit straighter.

Unlike Amanda, I’m not about to stand in the middle of a party naked asking strangers to draw on me. Although, the link between this, and getting off my butt and “putting my program out there” was poignant.

Turns out, I do have a thing or two to learn from Miss Palmer (and Erin).
Share what you’ve got with the world, and trust that the world will catch you. It’s probably time. <3

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Judy McCord Nov 20, 2018 6:56pm

Thank you, Jen. I love this. I suspect a large number of folks out here reading this have that same ticker tape going.

Jenni Lynne Nov 20, 2018 3:14pm

A perfect example of how we fear our own light, and how to do it anyway. Thank you.

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Jen Schwartz

Jen Schwartz is a joy seeker/sharer living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Made mostly of heart, she is a believer in the power of gratitude and lover of the (extra)ordinary. Jen is in training to be a community choir/song leader and is particularly passionate about people, connection, words, and song—and how those things can change the world when combined. During the day, Jen works for Elephant Journal and at night she snuggles with her cat. You’ll often find her correcting grammar in things publicly displayed, thanking the sun for shining, or pointing out lyric references in everyday conversation. Connect with Jen on Facebook or her website.