The hardest thing about following your passion

The hardest thing about following your passion

One of my favourite things to read and talk about is how people discover what their purpose is. There is nothing more inspiring or fascinating  than to hear the story about how someone figures out what their calling is, and then went and did it. I find it so beautiful to see someone’s face light up as they express the joy they feel to pursue the thing they most love in the world. I’ve been really lucky through the Make It Show to be able to witness many of these incredible journeys.

One thing about following your dream that gets glossed over, is the fear and uncertainty of sharing what you make with the rest of the world. It’s one thing to create something that lights you up, but then you have to get over the resistance of putting it out into the world. What are people going to think, or say, or do with what you have created?? Will they understand it, appreciate it, or even like it?? These are the questions that cause many artists to seize up with excruciating anxiety.

This is something that I’m brushing up hard against as the final edits of my documentary series, #MakeItTV, are completed and I get ready to share it next week. The whole project started about a year and a half ago and has undergone many changes and adaptations. I was tested and challenged by the Universe in so many ways, and there were moments that I wished I had never started it in the first place. But from being an entrepreneur for so long, I also know this is where the best lessons and growth happens.

Now that the project is almost complete, a different challenge presents itself. The surmounting uncertainty and fear of what people will think of it. Filming all 8 of the artists a few weeks ago was such a delight and joy. I had so much fun and even though the days were long, I felt like I was completely in my element. It felt like finally everything had clicked into place and there was this beautiful flow and synchronicity.

Now that shit is starting to get real, and I have seen some of the final edits and there is a screening date next week, I’ve been freaking out. Watching myself on camera is an excruciating experience. I’m self conscious about the size of my mouth, how my hair looks in the back, my weird laugh that can sound like a machine gun, and how I move my head around so much that I look like a bobble head! Even though I had video coaching and have a lot of body awareness, there are still many things I did ‘wrong’ as an interviewer. It makes me cringe to think about how people are going to react and what they will think of me. I’m having a slight panic attach as I write this post about it!

Late last night I was watching my favourite show, Super Soul Sunday, and Oprah was interviewing Elizabeth Gilbert. They spoke a lot about Joseph Campbell and ideas around the Hero’s Journey. I’ve always loved to think about life in this way, and what I realized from watching the episode is that #MakeItTV and everything else I do isn’t really about me. It’s about being an instrument to share a message to others. That’s it. Plus the whole point of interviewing artists is to share their incredible stories, so this makes it even less about me!

When I think about things from this perspective it no longer matters what I look, sound or act like. As long as I’m doing what lights me up, and then spreading it to my community, my job is done. The reason I wanted to do a documentary in the first place is to share the message that it is possible to do what you love. This is something that I have believed since I was very young. I’m not sure why because it wasn’t taught to me, and when I was in business school, most people suggested that starting a company before I had work experience was a bad idea. But for some reason I knew that I could do it, so I did it, and I believe with all my heart that you can too.

I know as artists and creative people it’s really easy to be self conscious about your work and judge yourself like crazy. Being vulnerable and putting what you create out into the world can be so hard because you open yourself up to the opinions of others. I will be doing this next week and it terrifies me. But, in my heart I know the message I want to share is bigger than my own petty self esteem issues, and if I hold back I not only stifle my own creativity but I also deny others of something that could help them.

The next time you create something and feel the powerful resistance from sharing it, remember that the whole thing isn’t really about you. Plus your vulnerability and humanity is your sexiest asset! No one expects you to be perfect, or get it totally right the first time. There is so much beauty in your imperfections and flaws. This is exactly what I will be telling myself quietly as I share #MakeItTV on Tuesday and watch my bobbly head and machine gun laugh! If you would like to come all the details are here.

If you have any comments of thoughts I would absolutely love you to share them below. I really love your private emails too, but I know others would so enjoy hearing what you have to say :)

Happy sparkly Thanksgiving!

Jenna