A few weeks ago I found out that some work I submitted for a thing, wasn't accepted.
I didn't win, wasn't chosen, my life was not about to change from amazing exposure and dollar dollar bills y'all.
OOF. THE BLOW OF IT. THE GUT PUNCH DISAPPOINTMENT.
My immediate thoughts were as follows:
See? You're not good enough!
Why would they want you anyway?
Did you really think they'd choose your work?
I sat with those thoughts for a little while, and worked them through. I'm not one to succumb to the little devil who occasionally spouts these thoughts, and my rational and logical side is well versed in good pep talks.
I do think I'm good enough, hence entering in the first place. If I can't believe in my work, who will?
They would want me for the same reason anyone else hires me - the way I see the world.
Did you really think they'd choose your work? Well actually, yeah. And I'll think so the next time I put myself out there too.
Still, there was disappointment, because SPOILER ALERT, I'm human.
But this process of putting myself out there and being rejected made me think -
there is such vulnerability in business, and we should really talk about that.
Being able to be vulnerable is a key skill when working for yourself.
The whole process is one of vulnerability - you put yourself out there, make your art, ask people to look, engage, buy into who you are and what you do... and you wait.
You lay it all out on the table, heart and work and thoughts exposed and hope something connects.
Is that not the most vulnerable act you can think of?
Me writing you this email, telling you how I felt like I failed, is an act of vulnerability.
But the alternative, which would be telling you that EVERYTHING IS GREAT AND THE SUCCESSES ARE RELENTLESS! wouldn't
a) be authentic, b) push anything forward, and c) would be a missed opportunity for me to connect with you.
The point of making ourselves vulnerable is to move things along.
You can't get from where you are to where you want to be without vulnerability.
Without taking risks. Without putting it out there and seeing if it flies.
Every act of vulnerability is choosing courage over comfort.
It's knowing that you might not land that client, or have your work chosen for the thing, but that you can show up, work in hand, believe in yourself and do it anyway.
So I'm here to tell you today - GO DO THE THING. That thing you've been wanting to do that scares you, makes you vulnerable, that could sink or swim. Set it free and see what happens. Be open to being vulnerable.
Think of me as your personal cheerleader, shouting from the sidelines.
Regardless of outcome, the act of courage takes you a step closer to where and who you want to be. YOU GOT THIS.