Every now and then we end up at a point where we ask "How the hell did I get here?".
Sometimes we have the best ideas and best intentions and we really, honestly do put our hearts into something - but somewhere along the way it all falls apart and we have a breakdown.
I've done this particular dance several times now in my life and I have come to discover what may be the key to getting out of these existential funks.
It all comes to the starting point. In the past I would have loads of projects and ideas and new ventures - but I would always hold back, and be afraid, and worry about how people will receive it (receive ME). I was more concerned with letting people down than focusing on doing my best. I was more concerned with how I would look in the eyes of others than I was with being true to my intent, my principles, and my message.
And invariably I would burn out, or lose hope, or instantly give up at the first sign of challenge or struggle - because I made it about ME instead of making it about the people I mean to reach out to and help.
So for me - as I am about to again set forth on a new venture - I keep as my foundation that what I do is for the audience - for the people I am reaching - for the people who can benefit from what I have to share - and in bearing this in mind I will not give up when I think people don't like me, or don't respect me, or don't appreciate me - because I am not here for that. I am doing what I do because I honestly, truly, believe that I can help people in a way that only I can - and it was only when I let go of my ego and wanting to take the credit and wanting the fame and attention that comes with it that I realized how often I sabotaged myself in the past - and how many people I in a way let down because I was concerned with my social bearing more so than I was concerned about reaching the people who could have benefited from my message.
Therefore - my work, the stories I have to share, the insights I have gained, the painful moments in my life (of which are many) that have finally transformed into meaningful lessons - none of it is worth any value to me if I do not share it and make my work and my focus about the audience. It is about the people and what THEY need, not what I want to show off. It is about what people struggle with, not about blowing my horn about my own personal triumphs or being anyone's personal savior or guru or icon. It is about stepping out of my need for attention and validation so that I can be raw, vulnerable, and unashamed - because that is how I want everyone in the world to be - and I realize it must start with me.
So the next time I find myself distraught, lost, hopeless, wanting to give up because nobody is liking me - I remind myself that this isn't about me or my needs and that people do not owe me a damn thing. My work is for the audience - and my commitment is to be authentic.