This is the 100th post to The Smile Project blog. That’s kind of crazy. I’ve always wanted to be a writer (since I was in second grade) and as I grew older I played with the idea of a blog a lot. But who would care what I had to say?
When The Smile Project started to take off, I realized I had found my platform and I had found a niche area of writing that I enjoyed…all that inspirational, motivational, joy-focused stuff. Once I had the blog feature live on my website, I thought that would give me the push I needed to regularly put out new content. Nope.
So #WednesdayBlogDay was born. One year, one month, and three days ago, I challenged readers to join me in what I called the Hump Day Challenge. The idea was to spend at least one hour every Wednesday on whatever it is you had “always wanted to do” but had never actually followed through with.
For me, it was the blog. And it changed everything. I went from not believing I could put out weekly content to a habitual #WednesdayBlogDay routine. It was wonderful. Sure, some weeks were harder than others to find time and inspiration. But #WednesdayBlogDay always prevailed.
Looking back on it now, it seems so silly that I would ever doubt my ability to write weekly blogs when writing is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl. But the doubt wasn’t within how I could weave words. I doubted the dream.
The Smile Project, this crazy idea that stemmed from a Facebook status, has become my lifeline. I live and breathe happiness and love everything I have been able to do and see as a result of running this organization.
I have wild dreams for this crazy project. I have lists of ideas with things I’d like to do and see and become. But much like the case of the blog, I doubt the dream.
State of the Smile Report: Things are going really well. I’ve been connecting with other world-shaking organizations and growing in professional and personal development. I’ve been figuring out new ways to approach certain things within the organization and really trying to be the best I can for all of those who support The Smile Project. Things are going great.
Almost, too great.
With exciting potential collaborations on the rise, I found myself dumbfounded, excited, and then suddenly, doubtful again. In a text conversation with my friend, I said:
“I wonder when these people are going to realize I’m not really a real thing. That’s my biggest struggle right now. I just want to give them a disclaimer like, ‘hey, heads up. Don’t expect much. I’m just a 21 year old kid making Facebook statuses.’ Ya know? I feel like they should know that.”
My ever wise friend responded with:
“But how do you become a real thing without first acting like one?”
My response was something along the lines of realizing what time it was, realizing I was going to be late (I was 20 minutes early), and then complaining about how my ankle hurt from falling down the stairs. Needless to say, I didn’t give his response the attention it deserved.
But he’s totally right. All of my issues and fears and doubts about The Smile Project have stopped me from giving myself the credibility I deserve. It’s stopped me from taking myself seriously. It’s the kind of thing that makes me stare at the ground and murmur:
“it’s this little thing I work on sometimes”
Instead of standing tall, smiling, and explaining:
“it’s an inspiration movement based around Happiness that I created when I was 17.”
That’s a better answer. That’s the confidence of a person who can take themselves seriously. That’s the response of someone who believes in their work and knows it is worthy of being noticed.
This isn’t about arrogance. This is about knowing that what you do is important. This is about taking that first step to write that first blog knowing that someday you will post you 100th. And it will feel absolutely amazing.
Whatever your “thing” is…do it. Do it big and loud and ignore anyone that tries to tell you that you can’t. Be unapologetically passionate. You might be a college kid working on your latest business venture out of your dorm room in between classes. Or you might be a kid organizing bake sales to raise money for your favorite charity. Maybe you’re the Millennial scraping by in a big city waiting for someone to pick up your newest song, artwork, piece of writing…
Whatever it is.
Whoever you are.
Promise me you won’t give up on it.
If you have a dream inside you, I swear it is worth pursuing. But you have to pursue it. You have to stop talking about how you’d love to do this or that and you have to do it.
You are a serious candidate to be a world-changer. Live up to that role.