To Those Scared of Trying Something New,
As far back as I can remember people have told me that I am fearless, brave or courageous. It has always sounded pretty badass to me, so I’ve never argued.
Plus, there is some convincing evidence…
When I was 4, I went on the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster at Busch Gardens all by myself. At age 5, my school gave me some test with a bunch of blocks and then told me I was skipping kindergarten and heading right to first grade. At 12, I snuck onto the set of a major motion picture, figured out who was directing the movie and convinced him to let me and my family make a quick cameo. In college, I wrote to every executive at the NBA, including the commissioner, until one of them gave me a job. After school, I moved hundreds of miles away from my family and friends without knowing a single soul.
My dad always tells me, “Whatever you do in life, never let anyone see you sweat.”
Since I am always cold, even in Miami, following his advice hasn’t been all that hard. I have approached unclear moments in my life with a smile on my face and with some sort of mission on my mind.
But as I head into 2020, I will admit to you all, I know how it feels to fear the unknown.
Right now, I feel like I jumped into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and I am searching for land. While I am a good swimmer, I don’t know how far I can go or how long it will take me to get to a coast. Plus, there are quite a few sharks out there.
That’s what it is like to jump into uncharted waters.
For me, uncharted waters is my new business, The Unsealed.
I launched The Unsealed less than five months ago because I have a passion for advocacy, social justice and storytelling. I am not sure if there is a job out there that encompasses all of my interests, so I figured I would just create it. The concept of writing letters, empowering people and shedding light on social issues is a reflection of who I am and what excites me. So far, my stories have received hundreds of thousands of views in more than 170 countries.
I had a sexual assault victim tell me I am the reason she is starting to open up about her attack. A father who lost his son to cancer thanked me for what I did to honor his child’s life. And a woman who grew up in utter poverty with endless struggles told me I helped her recognize her perseverance.
To say the journey thus far has been fulfilling might be the understatement of the decade for me.
But, even so, there is still a lot to navigate without a compass or a map. Every day I am learning new aspects of the business and implementing new strategies.
I don’t know exactly when or how my company will skyrocket but I certainly know that it will happen.
As I put 2019 behind me and look ahead to 2020, that space between what I know is possible and what I know right now is where my fear lives but also where my confidence thrives.
I look at the puzzle in front of me and for a moment, my nerves get rattled. But I quickly become at ease by acknowledging that I already possess all the pieces needed to put it together.
I am smart.
I am passionate.
I am determined.
And I have a support system that is there for me every step of the way…
While it would be so much easier to get a job, health insurance and a bi-weekly paycheck, my astute dad tells me, “Nothing good comes easy. “
I believe him because The Unsealed makes me happy, even though it is challenging or maybe because it is challenging.
As I look back on all the different moments in my life where I have pursued unknown paths, I realize that the excitement of an adventure has always outweighed the fear of an outcome.
And even when a past adventure didn’t go exactly as I envisioned, I never drowned. Instead, I enjoyed the swim or built up some muscle from it.
I recognize now that’s it’s neither bravery nor courage that drove me to jump into uncharted waters once again and start The Unsealed. Rather, it was and is the desire to pursue my passion coupled with the self-belief that until I hit land or one of those fancy yachts I see around Miami, I am strong enough and smart enough to find ways to always keep afloat.
So, if you are headed into the new year scared of what you don’t know, my advice is to become even more terrified of what you don’t try.
I don’t know exactly where the waves will take me or you, but I promise, finding out will be worth it for us all.
Good Luck and Happy New Year