As soon as you launch out into anything public, you might suddenly become very nervous.
When I speak, teach, blog, or lead, I’ve learned that my nervousness stems from a fear of shame–of rejection–that once removed, sets me free to be myself in front of a crowd.
When I wonder what others will think of me, I get nervous.
When I wonder whether or not I will do a good job, I get nervous.
When I wonder whether or not I should be doing this public thing, I get nervous.
So I try to stop wondering these things by (and I know this sounds crazy) learning to anticipate the worst that might happen. Rejection? Mockery? I’ve been there and survived (with flair). I remember that my public offerings represent gifts to the audience I serve. Others might reject the gift, but the point is I’m giving–not receiving–from the audience. I pray God enables it to not be about me. I also remember that public opportunities are acts of obedience to my calling. In this sense, I’m performing for a God who already approves, already accepts, and already delights in me. There’s no earning my own way; there’s nothing at stake.
Living with flair means going public.
Journal: Are you ready to be in public?
On the walk home from school, an extraordinary sight greets us. A beautiful hot air balloon hovers in the morning sky. (My husband’s phone snapped this photo, but you can’t tell how vibrant the balloon is. Just imagine!)
I race into the middle of the street, spread my arms wide, and wave at them. I’m jumping in the air, and I’m calling out, “Hello up there! Hello up there!” I realize I’m a colossal embarrassment. I realize this doesn’t make any sense.
Someone on the ground says, “They won’t be able to hear you.”
But still, I shout and wave. Then, I hear an answer.
“Hello!” They hear me! They answer. They wave and call down from inside the basket. I see a tiny arm waving to me. I hear the voice and smile. Our voices travel across this huge distance.
All morning, I realize how ridiculous of a notion it was to raise my voice and expect an answer. But my voice was heard, and an answer did come.
You just never know how far your voice will travel. You never know who might hear–from no matter how far away or in whatever unusual circumstance–the thing you have to say.
Living with flair means you go ahead and send your voice out into the world. You have no idea who can hear it and answer you.
Journal: Go ahead and say what you want to say today.