Why putting yourself out there isn't all it's cracked up to be

My online course comes out Monday. Am I excited? Do I feel a huge sense of achievement? I guess so and sort of.

To be honest, I've learned things from the creation of this course that have nothing to do with designing spaces that you love to live in. I've had breakthroughs that aren't related to learning online platforms like Mailchimp and Facebook ads (not directly anyway).

My biggest lessons have been in putting myself out there. Now, I have to clarify. Inexplicably, I actually feel pretty comfortable sharing huge, vulnerable parts of who I am. Apparently I enjoy being fully seen more than I enjoy the relative safety of anonymity. But I still had a hard time 'putting it out there' with the course.

Why? It wasn't ready yet. 

I have actually spent over 2 years on this damn thing. Well over a year of that was me writing and re-writing the 'scripts' that I was going to read on the videos that were to make up the course. If you take my course (which starts Monday) You'll notice that there are no videos except for the free introduction. Where did all that content go? Some of it did get used in the audios, yes, but most of those were recorded with only an outline of what needed to be said and trust that I would say it in the right way. Which I could've done 2 years ago.

Guess what? It's still not ready.
*And it starts Monday! (seriously, check it out)

What I learned in creating this is that yes, putting yourself out there is a vulnerable thing. It does require me to say, 'I have a class that I have poured my heart and soul into and to let others use that information as they will. Maybe they ignore it. Maybe they check it out and it's not for them (or at least the copy doesn't push their 'pain buttons' enough) to incite them to buy, or what if they do buy it and they don't feel it was worth it?!? Or they buy it and think it's not professional / polished / well-organized / insightful / applicable? What then?

This is where the putting it out there part comes into play. For me, rather than it being about trusting others with my heart and soul, it turned out to be about trusting myself. Trusting that the unfinished, imperfect first effort of the course is enough to get me to the next step. It's about me knowing that I'll have no idea what that step is until I get to it and I put myself out there trusting that I can stand tall on that step, work to claim it and strive to move then to the next.

I think I thought that if I wrote on my scripts long enough I would see the whole picture. That I could (and somehow should) preview the challenges to come before they happen. Then, and only then, would my course be ready. As I am learning *again* like so many other things in life, there is no way to preview the next scene, and it's pretty boring prolonging this one when it's over. Clearly, I'm not the first one to figure this out. There seems to be a theme on the insightful Joseph Campbell's quote above and my personal findings - and we're in good company: 

As you start to walk on the way, the way appears. -Rumi

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. -Lao Tsu

Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. -Antonio Machado

Thank you, life, for the reminder. And here, as your reminder lovelies (and my own next time I try to preview the end of the magic trick), are a few of my notes from the most recent round of lessons. Let's both commit to reminding one another to reference them next time, shall we? That way we can start out with more knowledge at the next beginning and hopefully get a little further at the next closing. 

  1. It will never be perfect
  2. Imperfection is an opportunity, not a failure
  3. Waiting for a perfect first try is a life on the sidelines
  4. The only way to make it better is to do it, then revise : Nothing is perfect the first time. It's only a perfect lesson to improve the next time. (repeat)
  5. The best way to learn what you don't know is to have to go back because you forgot it.

Have a wonderful long weekend and I challenge you to put yourself out there with something that you can't foresee the outcome. When it comes time for the next step, you may not be ready for it, but you weren't ready for the last one, remember? You can handle it. 

I would love to hear how this shakes out in your life. Which parts are the hardest for you and what did you learn? (We'll add it to our big, collective list so that we're all moving forward together.) 

If this hit home, please share! You won't be the only one - and the more we share, the more we know (it sounds like PBS... but it's true). Also, I'd love for you to check out my online course starting Monday, it's good stuff, and yes, as promised above, it does contain my heart and soul - or at least the current version of both for a mere $99 :) 

Design Your Happy Place


Until next time, rock stars