Have you ever started down a new path and then felt uncertain it’s the right way?
Your initial excitement turns to dismay as you tell yourself: “I can’t do this,” “I haven’t got what it takes?” “I don’t have the experience,” or even, “I’m too old.”
Or, you begin to doubt your motives: “This can’t be what God wants me to do.” “It’s not God’s calling on my life.” “I’m failing because I followed my own plans and not God’s steps.”
Eventually you hit a point where you ask: “Should I give up?”
I’ve made these statements and asked these questions over the past year. Perhaps you have done the same.
So how do we turn our lack of courage into bold steps and move ahead confidently?
In the first few weeks of 2018 I learned two things that have turned around my thinking and behavior.
Eighteen months ago I had an idea, but it was nothing more than a dream.
Out of my frustration to get traditionally published, I dreamed of a revolution in the way writers and publishers connect and discover each other.
I regularly discussed my exasperation and dream with my husband. I knew he listened, but didn’t realize he believed the wish could become a reality. As an entrepreneur, he is used to considering ideas and evaluating whether they will work.
Unknown to me, my husband discussed the idea with an acquaintance, who owned a software development company.
A few weeks later we sat at a restaurant in Bryant Park in New York City having lunch. The energy at the table was electric.
And so the idea developed into a full-blown product, Uplift Creator.
Yet, two things have held me back in stepping confidently into the role of startup founder.
First, my beliefs about myself have threatened to limit my success.
Although I have lived with my husband through many startups, I’ve continually told myself I don’t have the experience or skills, or that I’m not smart enough to do a start-up of my own.
I look at my husband and our development partner and think: “They have what it takes. Me? No way.”
Yet, as Michael Hyatt says in his course Your Best Year Ever the biggest barriers to experiencing your best year ever are in your head. Your beliefs shape your reality.
I needed to change my view about what I could do. I needed to believe the possibility of my idea succeeding.
I should not say I have no experience. I have tons of experience in all the right areas. I have worked in publishing my whole life. I may not be like my husband, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do this. We bring completely different skills to the table. We compliment each other. We bring a wealth of knowledge, and a wide range of experience and ways to work.
Second, my understanding about God limited me from moving forward.
I felt I hadn’t committed the project to God at the beginning. It had just happened and I had gone with the flow. I hadn’t really prayed about it.
Then I read the Proverb: Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed. I thought about these words for a long time. Is it really that simple? I didn’t want to seem like I had a magic formula for success.
Yet, there’s nothing to say we can’t dedicate a project to God when we’re in the middle of it. And, anyway, when I look back I realize God had been there all the time bringing things together.
At the end of 2017, we launched our Uplift Creator beta site and tested it with a group of writers. You may be one of them. We worked through the technical difficulties. We have also had our first publisher accept a writer’s submission.
And now at the beginning of 2018, I am excited about the prospects in the year ahead. I have replaced my negative thoughts with positive plans.
You might not be doing a startup or developing a software platform, but perhaps you’re venturing out in a new direction and feeling you haven’t got what it takes. Maybe you’re questioning whether it’s the step God wants you to take.
Don’t quit too quickly.
You can put God in charge at any time—at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end.
We need to start believing God is for us and not against us.
If you are a writer, we would love to have you join the Uplift Creator community. Contact me to receive a special launch offer.