When you're willing to feel any emotion, that's when your life expands.
I didn't fully grasp this concept until this weekend. I was asked by a large (by my standards!) account to do an Instagram takeover to discuss food styling with their 170k followers. They had initially asked me to do this well over 3 weeks ago and I just ignored that part of the email because I was terrified. What would I say? What if everyone hates it? What if I don't have anything useful to contribute? What if my final product turns out poorly-styled? Again, my old stories of how I belong out of the spotlight came rushing back.
After sitting on the request, I reached back out and said I'd be interested in doing the takeover if it was still on the table, and that I had totally chickened out before. Thankfully they agreed and we set a date: May 17th.
The morning of May 17th arrived and I was so nervous all morning. Now, this was coming on the heels of doing 5 other new things that week and I was feeling a little bit low on courage. However, I did some thought work (more on this in another post) and got myself in a place where I calmly took action. I focused on serving the people who were watching and providing my best tips for food styling. With those thoughts in mind, I got everything set up and organized and I pressed record on my first video.
In that first video, my introduction, I felt my nervousness acutely. I recorded 3 tries and watched the final version 10 times before hitting 'share.' But with each story and tip I shared, my nerves calmed a bit. By the end, I was feeling mostly clear-headed and relaxed. The feedback I got from dozens of people was overwhelmingly grateful and positive! In that moment I really understood what, "when you're willing to feel any emotion, that's when your life expands" meant. It means you'll take on new experiences, new challenges, and try new things because you're not afraid of the emotion on the other side of those things. And, by the way, we are ALWAYS the ones who cause these emotions! These new actions don't cause our emotions.
If I had let fear or fear of failure take over and let it stop me from saying 'yes' to the take over, I would have never had the opportunity to "speak" to 170,000 people. I would have not been able to help them progress on their journey as food photographers. I would have kept my knowledge safely tucked away all to avoid feeling an emotion. I LOVED being able to share tips that people found useful and I loved connecting with each and every woman over DM's. Answering questions, providing more examples and helping them to solve problems. I'm so grateful to myself for saying 'yes' to fear and new opportunities.