Vision and Stepping Off the Edge

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Photo credit / source: blog.scout.me
     Creating is fun for me. Shooting off ideas, getting a picture in my head of what it is or will look like and then taking the time to begin creating. It’s interesting, it’s exciting. Most often, it doesn’t end up looking exactly as I had drama or pictured it to be, but it definitely has my fingerprints all over it. It’s fun.
     After Iris and I were married, I started to build furniture as a hobby. All of these things haven’t been great in any sense of the word, but they were cool and enjoyable for me. A butcher block table, a corner table, a pallet headboard and so on. At some point I would get frustrated, perhaps it was the 13th trip to the hardware store or maybe I measured way off and it just didn’t line up. I was frustrated because it was turning out how I wanted it to be, how the picture in my mind looked. And probably the more frustrated thing, I was laying out my dream, my vision for the world to see-Iris. I wanted it to be perfect, no flaws, no structural issues but yet still have my DNA.
     I began a process about six years or so ago, of creating my personal mission and vision statement. It was a difficult time for me as I was also in the search for who I really was. My post “Footprints” tells a little bit more about what I was going through during that time. It was a process that took almost two years, with a lot of thought, reflection and guidance from a few people I highly regarded.
     But, once it was done, once the energy of writing, mulling it over, thinking every word through, I was relieved and excited. This was the grid I would filter every opportunity in my life through.  Part of me growing in my leadership gifts and abilities was to begin to share the very part of who I am with those around me. Thinking nothing of it, I began to with a few of those over me. But the reaction I got was of disinterest, feeling threatened and non-empowerment. Obviously, not what I had hoped for.
     I learned in that moment to hold this passion, really this part of me, a little closer to my chest. Had it been three years before and I would have never let anyone into my life to see this part of me at all. But, thankfully, good friends encouraged me to just be a little more careful of who to share it with and how much to share.
     I read a quote by Gay Gaddis from an interview she had done with Brene Brown. Gay is the CEO and Founder of T3, the largest woman-owned independent advertising agency in the country. She said “ you have to create a vision and live up to that vision. There is no vision without vulnerability.” I resonated with this tremendously and I think she is right. To simply have a vision is one thing. To share that with others is a completely different level of exposure to those you share it with, and the world. To have a vision for what you want to accomplish or do in your life is a great thing. It provides purpose, self-understanding and a grid to filter out things that will distract you from that purpose. At the same time, if you never share it with others, it is nothing more than a dream you had one night or a regret at the end of your life.
     When you first have the thought that this is your vision or mission, your purpose for your life, it is always good to bounce that off of people who know you. People who really know you. And, people who you trust (which I would say if you trust them, they ought to know you well). They can help to refine and clarify what your heart is telling you. And most importantly, they can encourage you. But, if you never share that idea, that thought, you will never truly know if that was your purpose. You will never have the encouragement to try that crazy idea or focus on that one thing that you excel at. One word of caution- when something is that close to your heart and you share it with others, you are giving them a chance to speak into your life. You are making yourself vulnerable. That does come at a price. They could stomp on it or, it could be a moment where you’ve dove into a deeper friendship with someone than you’ve ever experienced.
     Without vulnerability, without stepping off the edge of making known that very thing that strikes a cord in your heart, you will never know if that vision can come to fulfillment.
     Dive in-I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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