There's an urge to write, speak up, share what's important to you and what you're passionate about with the world. You want to make a difference, have your voice heard. You want to encourage or inspire others with your message. You know you have something to offer.
And then, inevitably, there's this:
What if what I have to say isn't interesting to anyone?
What if I can't really help anyone?
What if no one listens?
Everything I want to say has been said before, so is there even a point?
How do I write something that's better than what other people are saying on the same subject?
How do I even start?
I hear you. I understand the fears and the doubt and the questions you have around sharing your thoughts, feelings, opinions and knowledge with the world. Will it get you anywhere? Will anyone listen? Is there a point in putting yourself out there?
I've said this so many times in so many different ways but I'll say it again here, now, because I want you to hear and understand and know this:
The world's in a mess. No matter how much love and light you want to throw on it you cannot deny what's happening in the world.
Don't mistake me and think I'm saying it's a lost cause. I'm full of hope and optimism and desire for it all to change. For hunger to end. For poverty to end. For child sex trafficking to end. For domestic abuse to end. For war to end. For destruction of this beautiful, beautiful planet to end. Oh, and for my food not to be wrapped in ten layers of plastic.
If I didn't have a belief in something better - something different - I'm not sure I'd bother spending my days encouraging you to get out there and create a life you love around work and a message you're passionate about.
And you know as well as I know that we can ALL make a difference. In everything we say and everything we do we make a difference. So please hear this:
It doesn't matter if someone's said it before.
It doesn't matter if someone's said it more eloquently or more beautifully or more intellectually than you.
It doesn't matter if you're not the world's leading expert on the thing you want to write about.
It doesn't matter if you don't know if you can help anyone.
It doesn't matter if you're doubting.
It doesn't matter if you're not sure how to write or how to start or what your voice is.
None of it matters because it's not about you. It's not about what you can get out of it. It's not about whether it "works". It's not about having the best story or the best words or the best anything. We're all working towards the same goal, aren't we? Aren't we all working towards a more beautiful world? Isn't that the deeper purpose behind what you're doing, the business you're building?
Of course it's easy to get lost in the day to day needs of your life and the money and the rent and the life and lifestyle you want to create for yourself. But really, honestly, if you look beyond that, isn't what you're really working towards a more beautiful world? For yourself and the rest of humanity?
Your words matter. Your words make a difference. They bring more love to the world. They help change the conversation. They help change perceptions and world views. They inspire people to action. They help people heal. They make people laugh. They motivate and inspire. They disrupt the status quo. They change the story. They bring people a moment's peace. They bring people together. They give someone a new idea. They give people permission. They make ripples of kindness. They get someone through a difficult day. They stop someone pulling the plug - on a project, on life. They move people. They touch people.
Your words matter.
And your doubt is irrelevant when you truly understand that.
A couple of weeks ago a reader wrote to me and told me how something I'd written had helped her publish a piece of her own work. A piece of writing about the stigma of mental illness in the Indian community.
Last week a reader wrote to me and told me about all the things she cared about but that she was scared she might not have anything worth saying. I challenged her to write and publish something. She did. She wrote about our common humanity.
These pieces of writing are acts of love in the world. The words reach people. They help, support, guide, encourage, inspire and help people know they're not alone.
So again I tell you: your fear is irrelevant because it's not about you. It's about the bigger picture. Which is that the world needs us all in on this. The world needs us all connecting and sharing and opening up our wounds and stories and coming together in our shared and common humanity.
It doesn't matter if your words are clumsy or awkward. Fluidity, style and voice come with practice. But the longer you hold it it in and remain in your fear you starve the world of your much needed gifts.
It's time to write.
Share your story. Share your wounds. Share your lessons. Share your knowledge. Share your humanity.
The world is quite literally dying for you to do that.
Love and courage,