It was a rainy Sunday morning, but the atmosphere in my kitchen was far from dreary. I sat across the table from CC, a NJ friend I had not seen in years. She was passing through Nashville on tour with her band, Francie Moon and the Great Outdoors.
Their performance the night before revealed incredible talent. It was their first tour together as a band, and I was honored to host them overnight before they shipped off to Louisville later that day.
CC and I had never been very close, but her presence had always been reassuring and comforting somehow. This morning was no different.
As if picking up an old rhythm, our conversation was easy over mugs of dark roast coffee. We found ourselves in similar situations in life. Both of us were starting something new – she through music and education, and I through speaking and writing.
There was a feeling of electricity and excitement for this season of life, particularly because we each feel called to our projects. We discussed taking steps and leaps to make these dreams a reality. We talked about fears and self-sabotage, but, more importantly, we talked about hope.
CC shared how the people of Johnson City, TN – an area experiencing slowing industrial work – were hungry for beauty and enjoyment a few nights prior. Francie Moon and The Great Outdoors was slated to play for 30-45 minutes. The crowd, however, wanted more. In total, they played for over 3 hours at the insistence of the audience!
That night created an impression on their journey. It offered assurance that their music could make life better for others – even if only for a moment. It was a moment when the hopes they started with became a reality. What a priceless gift!
As I imagined the scene, it struck me, maybe for the first time, that changes of all sizes start and end with hope. That is what keeps us moving, pushing through fear and self-doubt. Hope.
When you come right down to it, isn’t hope at the center of all change? Isn’t that what we cling to when taking on a new exercise routine, or job, or hobby, or relationship? We hope that change will improve our lives and the lives of those we love.
Confession time. I’ve been focusing on the hows a little too long these days. At first, it seemed easier to focus on best practices and step-by-step formulas offered up by online marketing experts. But all too soon, I found myself wading through a pile of doubt and fear, drifting away from my hope of guiding women to a life of freedom.
How I make the change is nowhere near as important as the why. Focusing on the how will overwhelm me. Focusing on why will renew my hope and energize me.
After talking with CC, I’ve finally accepted that fear and self-doubt are completely normal. They are a healthy part of any change process. These are not signs of failure but signs of success. Fear and doubt are growing pains alerting me that change is happening right at that moment.
Today, I choose to focus on the why and press through. I’ve found my hope once again. This time, I posted it on mirror with lots of photos to remind me of the hopes I have for the future.
Change is the only constant in life, so chances are that you are going through a transition in your life right now. Keep focusing on your why. The how will come, and come more easily, when you keep your eyes on the prize. Set your focus on hope and you’ll be surprised how naturally change follows.