I tend to over think sometimes. And depending on the situation, overthinking can steal away the joy that comes from just DOing.
So I was happy when Kareem Taylor started his “30 Days to Change” Instagram challenge, a call to do something every day of December to kick start the momentum you need to reach your goals in 2014. I needed this motivation.
Even though I didn’t post a photo each day of the challenge on Instagram, I did reflect daily on my progress and how I can be better. As far as I’ve come, I would be a fool to believe that I am perfect. There is always room for growth.
For me this challenge meant to keep trying new things, even if it scares me a little. This month a lot of change went down.
I spoke at a Brooklyn authors reading event. I was a finalist in a non-fiction writing competition, something I had never done. Though nervous, I got up there and delivered my piece anyway. I didn’t win, but just to share my work in that space and time was a rewarding experience. It reminded me that writing is a talent that I can take very far if I keep at it.
Earlier in the month, I participated in a reading event with “Young Writer Gang,” a writers’ group I formed after curating a writing challenge last year. I invited more than 20 people and it turned out to be four of us. I held the event in the back of a lounge that was playing loud music. It may not have been the perfect setting, but we end up having good conversations. Now that I’ve moved passed my initial fears, I’m excited to expand.
I also wrote my first think piece commentary for a professional site (shout out to Beyoncé). In the past all of my paid work was written from an objective standpoint and I saved my opinions for my own sites. My editor reached out and asked me to write it. In the end, with a couple of changes made to the final copy, I was told “job well done.”
As you can see, I am still a novice in my field. I’ll even admit there are writers out there whose pen game is madder than mine. But should I let that stop me from writing? Everything I write will not be a masterpiece. But I can’t get to better, if I don’t write at all.
I often take life lessons from everyday happenings. If you pay attention they’re always there.
On the last Saturday night of 2013, I attended an artist showcase hosted by a group called Higher Self. Held in a Brooklyn loft, I loved the atmosphere of young professionals, performances from indie singers, spoken word artists, and artwork in between DJ sets of reggae, old school and present day hip hop.
During the DJ’s last set, he played a song that I didn’t know and it had a particular step to go with it. My friend and another young woman knew how to do it and I stood back for a second watching their feet. I hesitated. “Should I try to learn it or not?”
Something in me said, Go! So I jumped in and followed along as best as I could. I laughed with every misstep and tried over and over. After about five minutes, I knew how to do it. I looked up and I noticed that others who were just watching before had joined in and attempted to learn as well.
Now I know a new dance.
When we choose to step out, be bold, and not be afraid of what people think about us, (Because if you’re not a DOer then you can’t talk about someone who tries. Better to do and mess up than never try to do better at all) two things happen: One, we get closer to our heart’s desires; two, we give others the inspiration to be great too. When some people see others having fun and acting diligent in the doing process, but still being human and open to mistakes, they become unafraid and think they can as well. It’s a domino effect.
This challenge has helped me realize that I’m not alone in this weird phase of life of figuring myself out. To see others out there, getting up and DOing something every day, it motivates me to keep at it too.
Thanks again to Kareem Taylor for putting the “30 Days to Change” challenge together. Change is a process and we have to let go and be molded by it. We can’t be afraid to take a chance and learn a new dance in 2014.
It may be the one decision that changes everything.