One Small Step Forward

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So I’ve been a little busy this month…writing. Below is an excerpt from the introduction of a book I’m writing. I’d be honored if you share your thoughts with me.

Who do you think you are?

Picture it: you and a group of friends are sitting around having dinner when one of them announces that she has finally decided to start a business, everyone cheers and ceremoniously raise their glasses to congratulate her. As she goes into detail about her ambition, you start thinking about the things you’ve always wanted to do with your life. At this point, you realize you have one of two choices: either you are inspired by your friend’s courage and take a step toward your goal or you do nothing, and continue to talk about what you want to do.

I’m here to tell you with all the sisterly love in the world: stop talking and start doing.

I was the quintessential professional dreamer with hopes, fears and aspirations of living a whole life. I have a thriving career that sustains my livelihood, but something was missing. There was a void; emptiness inside me that no amount of money or professional accolades could fill. On occasion, I would acknowledge the void to appease my ego because I believed that talking about what I wanted to do was the same thing as doing it.

Isn’t that how it works?

I thought maybe if I talked long enough, I’d actually get around to getting it done.

The truth is, deep down I didn’t believe there was anything I could do about my ambitions.  I didn’t think I could do much more than what I was already managing, and I used the excuse of having a family and professional obligations as a reason to give up.

I did what all well-intentioned people do and succumbed to long and creative bouts of procrastination. So I:

  • Purchased dozens of self-help books that were left unread;
  • Spoke passionately about my dream of becoming a writer to my friends and yet did nothing about it;
  • Created an action plan that received no action; and the best one
  • Started aggressively helping other people with their projects, knowing well I could have spent that time pursuing my own ambitions.

Who was I kidding?

Did I really have what it took to be a successful writer? Did I have something to say that people would actually want to read? Could I be inspirational? Was I ready to serve?

My initial answer was a resounding no — I wasn’t ready.

Truth is we all have things in our lives that we would like to try. And yet, for most of us, four major barriers hold us back: fear, doubt, guilt, and shame or any combination thereof. I wrote [title pending] to serve as a reminder to you — and to myself – that there is nothing too great for us to handle.

I believe that God has already provided us with what we need – it’s the gift that we are born with – everyone has it.

I’m not breaking out my hymnal, but it is up to us to recognize it and take hold of the gift within us.

Now for some, they choose to ignore the gift and lead perfectly content lives, grounded in the belief that they have done all they can or that they choose not to go any further.

And that’s fine.

But for others (and I’m guessing that’s you), we realize that the gift does not fully manifest without tribulation. My personal journey looked like:

  • A difficult childhood
  • Unemployment
  • Failed relationships (professional, friendships, and romantic)
  • Financial woes
  • Low self-esteem
  • And difficult pregnancies

I know I am not alone.

I’ve learned that in sharing our stories we gather strength from each other. Although our lives are unique, the underlying resilience of the human condition connects us all.

Who do you think you are?

It took a while for me to understand that question. I realize now that the purpose of this question isn’t asked to evoke a retreat. We are not supposed to cower and shy away. Instead, it is a call to order, it is a way to propel us forward.

Who do you think you are?

The question is asked so that we may find the answer; to use the gift that is already within us.

Copyright © Cece Harbor 2013. All Rights Reserved.

15 thoughts on “One Small Step Forward

  1. Marian Truehill

    Hello Dear friend: These words inspire me to move on do the things I aspire to fulfill my dreams of getting a Ph.D.

  2. This is so true, so many people have dreams but never set out to achieve them for fear or other reasons! Keep at it, self-love and self-belief, I believe, is the key.

  3. “…fear, doubt, guilt, and shame…” you nailed it there. I’m going through something so similar right now…asking that question, “Who am I?” I love this introduction. It’s very identifiable. I think MANY people go through the things you’ve mentioned here. I too, think more than I do. This is such a great reminder. Great stuff here!

    • Katie …what a lovely surprise. I agree, we’re more alike than you realize and I think it transcends race, gender, socio-economics, etc. as always, thank you for stopping by and the feedback.

  4. fear is such a huge part…fear of shame even, when wanting to move forward in our giftings. That’s the enemy telling us “people will laugh” because even he knows that any God given gifting is incredibly powerful. You go, girl!

    • Say that! I completely felt vulnerable even publishing this… There’s that voice that questions you…but you have to talk back to fear. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  5. Loved this! ‘Dreaming’ doesn’t hurt but can make that void feel bigger. ‘Doing’ is the only thing that will fill it! I know because I am one step shy of ‘doing’ and need a kick in the pants! Can’t wait to read your ‘kick in the pants’ book!

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