Baby steps…

There is a Christian author I enjoy reading. Her name is Lisa Whittle. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a community she runs with her friend and fellow author, Alli Worthington. It’s named Called Creatives and it’s an amazing place. It is a place that brings together creative-types (writers, speakers, podcasters, etc.) in one place to cheer each other on and to form supportive friendships, but it’s also a place of learning. There are tons of training materials dedicated to each topic.

I have been exploring the training materials that focus on speaking as I get started. Sometimes the video is done by Lisa, sometimes by Alli. I was listening to one Alli had created on letting your voice be heard and the avenues to do that and of course podcasting came up. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting one, but I get so overwhelmed at the tech that I shelve it every time I get close.

Alli offered a “freebie” on the steps to creating a podcast on her website. Once there, I downloaded the materials and then started poking around. I noticed her “podcast” link on the menu of her website and clicked. There I found a summary of her recent podcasts, and though I intended to pick one to listen to, one of the descriptors caught my attention.

It was a conversation with another author named Mary Marantz, and the topic of her book drew me in.

Her book is called, “Slow Growth Equals Deep Roots.” But the title of the podcast topic she and Alli addressed was called “How to stop performing for your worth.” My breath catches every time I read this.

I am a serial performer. Always have been. And it makes me tired. I know this about myself.

I’ve noticed this topic keeps surfacing for me lately. And I know performance is tied to my feelings of worth, or lack thereof.

I began to scratch the surface of the whys behind my need to perform (overachieve, being type-A, a perfectionist, etc.) in the class I took at church just a bit ago, but since closing the class, I put the discovery sessions on the shelf. Some days it’s more difficult than others to take a hard look at the core of yourself. And then Mary spoke to me.

I wandered over to Mary’s podcast to learn more about this topic of performing for worth and I scrolled down to her very first podcast. “Why I almost didn’t write the book.” Again, my breath caught. I’ve actively not written the book for years.

Of all the talents I have been blessed with, writing comes to the top. But its not just a talent, it’s a calling. I have literally felt compelled to write, to express myself through the written word to others, my entire life. It’s beyond something I enjoy doing. The need to express through writing is almost like breathing, and I have walked away from it for months and months now.

And in not writing, the thought of writing plagues me daily. “I should write that down. I should share that on the blog. I need to write an article about that.”

The thoughts are relentless and I have to actively avoid writing and in avoiding it, it literally consumes me. So why don’t I write then? Well, to be honest, I’ve been hiding from naming the reason(s) why. Just going about my day avoiding the act of putting pen to paper, fingers to the keys. And then I listened to Mary’s first podcast.

And tears fell like a dam had broken. I felt…exposed. It was like my inner voice was suddenly broadcasting all my deepest secrets for anyone to hear. The shame, the disappointment, the bare truth was all out there for the world to witness.

Fear of rejection, or not measuring up, of not being the best. Fear of not having anything of interest to say, of being dismissed. All the reasons I don’t feel worthy some days.

But I have also learned that is my flesh talking. That is not who God says I am. That my worth does not come from other’s defining me, accepting me, praising me. But even knowing that, some days it’s hard to shake the insecurities I have carried my entire life.

I think I’m ready to dig into to my need to perform and face the truths head on. To name the issue and hand it over to God to carry so I can release it. I know it’s going to take a lot of honesty, a lot of deep diving, a lot of prayers for healing. But I’m ready.

I’m ready to stop performing and start living. To lean into the call I’ve been given.

Ready or not, Mary’s book arrives on my doorstep today. Baby steps.

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