First things first. Speaking our dreams into the world is scary. It is one of the most vulnerable things we as humans can do and, often, we shrink back within ourselves, believing that life is safer by keeping our deepest desires close to our chest. Free from the speculation of others, the criticism of the crowd and the potential rejection of the world we so long to impact with our gifts, goals, and dreams.

Second, if you are anything like me, asking for help from others is terrifying. I’m a do-it-myself, I’ll-find-a-way kind of girl, so having to reach outside of myself to ask others to lend a hand feels not only unnatural but uncomfortable.

Yet uncomfortable is exactly where I found myself two Sundays ago.

For a few years now I have been thinking and praying about what my big dreams are. You know, the type of dreams and goals that you consider if there were no risk of failing? That’s what I had been working towards articulating not only for myself but to others. A few weeks ago I caught a clear vision and found myself finally able to express what I desired and what direction I wanted to head.

But articulating this for myself was only the first step. To take action was going to require development, content, and resources that I didn’t have the capabilities to produce. But I knew people who did. They were the very people I had long ago run alongside as they pursued their big dreams, so I boldly reached out and asked if they would be willing to help me execute step one of my dreams. And, no shocker here, they enthusiastically obliged. I knew I was building this website behind the scenes and simultaneously knew that I needed to develop my online presence and platform through images. I had done the tireless research and I knew that stepping in front of the camera was a must.

So I sent the text message, asking to both have my hair and makeup done and to have pictures taken of myself. Reaching out to my friends to ask them for their time and help with something that was just for me was the hardest thing I’ve done is a long while. And I’ve run a marathon, you all! Yet asking for pictures of myself, with my vision and direction, was BY FAR harder than a marathon.

Days later talking with my best friend, I was relaying the struggle of asking for help with the photo shoot and how difficult it was in comparison to the marathon I had previously run. She was quick to remind me that running a marathon meant relying only on me. My mind, my drive, my bulldozer personality. Asking for professional images & a makeover required collaboration. And that demanded vulnerability.

“You just needed yourself for the marathon. This required others to do things that aren’t within your own skillset and that hurts your heart,” she lovingly chuckled.

She was right.

I am undeniably passionate about encouraging others to use their gifts and pursue their dreams. It just never occurred to me that others would be so willing to jump in on mine.

Speaking this dream into the world, first with my home team, and second, in my wider circle, I have felt the impact of a hype squad. I have often used the phrase to my friends as I cheered them on — “I am here as your hype girl. I’m here for this dream, for your goals, for it all.” And that afternoon, after a vulnerable and fun photoshoot, for the first time it truly clicked for me: Wow, this is what this feels like to be on the receiving end. This matters.

So these big dreams I keep alluding to? Here we go.

I want to be a motivational speaker and life coach.

I want to energize and build others up.

I want to encourage community and friendship and knowing how to love your people well.

I want to be real in sharing how to fight through anxiety and doubt in order to love yourself best.

I want to stand before others and push them to be their very best selves, owning who they are and who they were created to be. And not let them go at it alone.

I want to do all of this because I believe in the very depths of my being that this mission matters.

That glam session and photo shoot with my dear friends happened and afterward, I was on top of the world. I felt so energized, so encouraged and so accomplished. I had bravely stepped forward and boldly claimed space for myself and progress on my dreams. And I hadn’t done it by myself. I couldn’t have done it by myself. I truly believe that made it all the more powerful.

So while my nasty inner critic tells me that other people are already out there doing what I want to do, I’m choosing to instead lean in and believe that there is room for me too. And on days when I doubt and want to crawl back into my safe space again, I will turn to my hype squad and let them encourage me, support me and cheer me on.

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