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I've undergone a lot of changes this past year: from leaving my position as a marketing director, to serving as the interim leader of a new ministry startup, to finally settling into my current position as the Communications Director of Adventures in Missions.
On the personal side of things, I started a new blog, got a book deal, and found out I was going to be a dad (Ashley is due in late June). We also bought a house and celebrated the one-year as doggie parents.
In the midst of all this change, I've learned a couple lessons:
- In anything worth pursuing, there is always fear. Fear of being a dad; fear of starting a new job; fear of creating something and people hating it. That feeling of inadequacy and insecurity, it seems, never goes away. You just have to push through, anyway.
- Identity precedes activity. In other words, before you can get other people to believe something about you, you'll first have to believe it yourself. And if you want to act a certain way — be a better husband, a more devoted Christian, whatever — you have to undergo a mental shift. You have to believe what you're pursuing is actually possible. You have to renew your mind.
This past year has been one of the best and scariest years of my life. I learned a lot, grew a lot, even failed a lot. And it all happened, because I took some risks. But before I could risk, I had to change my mind.
I learned both of these lessons most powerfully when I finally made the leap to start writing seriously. My friend Paul called me out, asking, "What's your dream?"
When I told him I didn't have one, he didn't buy it. So finally I said, "I guess it's to be a writer."
And that's when Paul lost it: "Jeff you don't have to want to be a writer. You are a writer. You just need to write."
So I started writing. And you know what? The more I did it, the more I believed it. And the more I believed it, the better I did it.
This is true for anything.
If you're going to be serious about what you do, you're first going to have to belive you already are what you hope to be.
I'm not talking about going all New Age on you or silly name-it-and-claim-it theology. I'm talking about confidence. About believing in what your friends and family alread know is true. About claiming what God says about you is, indeed, the truth.
By the way, I just released an eBook on this topic: You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). Even if you're not a writer, you should consider checking it out. Friends who have read it said it touched them all in different ways. If you have any friends who want to get into writing and publishing, feel free to share it with them, as well.
So let's talk about you now: What's something you've been waiting to hear about yourself and just need to start believing?