How many unsung songs have been heard only by four lonely walls?
How many pictures unhung, or poems consigned to the pages of a dog-eared notepad?
Do not these fragrant petals of creativity deserve their day in the sunlight where they can fulfil their purpose and be heard, seen, and appreciated?
Of course they do!
Why is it then that we allow our fears to dictate?
Why does the shadow of rejection loom over our shoulder every time we go to hit the publish button?
Fear of rejection is a crippling thing.
As soon as our creativity is uncaged and out in the wild, we become open targets for opinion. Opinions sometimes sting, and we all have the bruises to prove it.
But let me tell you a secret. The pain of withholding is far greater than a few naysayers trying to shut you down.
You are a unique and never to be equalled expression of heaven in the earth, and you deserve to be heard. Your Father created you with a voice, one just as significant and worthy of attention as the next man.
Here are five surefire reasons to wrestle your fears to the ground and kick them into touch.
Number 1: You only live once.
You either live boldly or you live with regrets. There is no in-between. Every day is a decision that determines your tomorrow, and the longer you procrastinate the further way your dreams become until eventually, they are so far in the distance you give up hope of ever reaching them. Take that step today.
Write that chapter. Pen that song. Learn that skill. Have that conversation. Whatever it may be, do one thing today that moves you toward fulfilment. Do it with or without fear – only don’t let your fear stop you. Do it anyway.
Number 2: You are not only robbing yourself, but you are also stealing from everybody else
Not stepping out is selfish and vain. Do you not realise that your gifts and talents were invested in you by your Heavenly Father to bless others? Who are you to withhold a gift that He desires to give to the world and do so in the name of modesty or humility? The humblest act a person can take is to act from their inner man, fearlessly and faithfully, and bring their entire self to the table of humanity.
Your words may be the ones that feed a weary soul. Your song the tune that lifts the broken heart. Your design the image that inspires the hopeless to a new day. Don’t rob the world of the greatest gift you have to offer – yourself!
Number 3: Think of the alternative
Think of the alternative. Not sharing your creativity with the world. Do you know why the Dead Sea is dead? Because the water flows into the sea basin but not out. We are designed by Papa to be creators not just consumers.
Always receiving and never giving is a slow death. Sharing is the pathway to abundance. Laying it on the line and making yourself vulnerable is scary, but the alternative; a slow, painful death of dreams and hopes, is far more painful in the long run.
Yes. I have been hurt too. Yes, I have put my art out in the wild and been trampled. Yes, I have been misunderstood, maligned by others, and mangled by my own insecurities. But each time I knew that staying on the floor was not an option. You cannot deny who you are. You are a creative human being, with treasures to bestow on those around you. Don’t be discouraged, my friend, step up to the plate again and believe one more time.
Number 4: Every action is a stepping stone to the next, and the next
I often say, “the journey is the destination.”
God is not so much interested in us reaching some pinnacle of success or perfection. He is interested in our character being honed with every step of the journey. If we can grasp the truth that the journey is the destination; that success and failure are just two complementary threads that help make the rich tapestry of character, we will be less inclined to spend our days lamenting yesterday’s mess-ups, or yearning for tomorrow’s uncertain victories.
Instead, we will live in the pulsating liberty of the moment, shielded by our Father, and ready to build a bridge to our future by acting today. I am doing what I am today because I fought yesterday’s battle and won. When fear came and taunted me to inaction, I acted anyway. When insecurity had me in a headlock I screamed and squirmed my way out and kept on trying despite feeling like a loser and a fake. And all of those footprints, many of them bloodstained and tear-filled, led me here. I’m glad my Daddy was with me all the way. And He is with you too.
Number 5: Leaving a legacy is more important than our busyness allows us to ponder
Busy busy busy. I see it every day in my own life and in the lives of those around me. So much activity, and with it so much sowing to the wind. Our lives are rushed and crammed with activities that leave no mark for future generations.
Stop! Take more than a moment to ponder your own mortality.
The scary fact that you have only a few short days on this earth, and that after you have made your exit heavenward, it is only your creativity; the words you leave behind, the songs you sing, the inventions you make, the thoughts you record, the sermons you preach, the books you write, the clothes you design – whatever your mark, leave it well.
You are unique. There will never be another walk the earth like you. When you exit planet earth, the hole that remains can never be filled. Populate that chasm with something future generations can be blessed and encouraged by.
I’m encouraging you to live for the future. But not your own. The future I encourage you to live for will be the present of your grandchildren and their children after them. Leave a legacy of love, of faith, and of a deep and genuine expression of YOU for them to draw from.
Long after you are gone, let your legacy speak.
You are precious.
Don’t let fear put a ring through your snout and tug you through a life of quiet despair. Tear yourself free and be bold enough to share your creativity with a waiting world. If you take the journey, knowing every step is a destination where you can learn and grow, you will be amazed at how far your faith will take you.
After all, it brought you here.
Maybe you needed to hear these words?