If You Don’t, No One Else Will


By Kate

Knowing that my love for Brené Brown runs deep, one of my girlfriends recently sent me a podcast featuring an interview with her. When asked by an audience member what bit of advice she’d give to her 25-year-old self, Brown offered this, “All the pleasing, and proving, and perfecting that you’re doing is getting in the way of what you’re supposed to be doing.”

With that, I officially became the person oohing and aahing and shouting things like “Amen!” at my iPad as I cooked dinner across the kitchen. That’s some good, real stuff, right? Who of us hasn’t been there, in the pleasing, proving, or perfecting boat? I regularly treat the three like a tropical time share, figuring out which areas of my life I can devote to pleasing others, which areas of my life I can dedicate to proving just how adequate and worthy I am, and which areas of my life I can concentrate on perfecting.

So, often times, when I run across inspirational sayings like, “If you don’t do it someone else will,” I find the intention behind them to have a reverse effect on me. Rather than feel fueled and determined to go get ‘em, I’m quick to think, that’s okay. Maybe someone else should do it. Because I haven’t quite mastered how to please, prove, and perfect my life. I’ve yet to find the right words, I still have a lot of learning to do, and I’m not as skilled as someone else might be to get the job done. Whatever the job is.

If I don’t say it, someone else will. They’ll know exactly when, how, and where to deliver the message. Their words will be more meaningful than mine.

If I don’t teach the class, someone else will. Their confidence and knowledge will carry an impact beyond what I can bring.

If I don’t write it, someone else will. She’ll share her truth and connect with readers in a way that I never could.

Those who have the words will speak. Those who have the intellect will teach. Those who have the story will share.

And when I have the right words, copious intellect, and a purposeful story, I’ll do the same. I’ll do it when I feel better equipped and less fearful. I’ll do it when I’m ready. I’ll do it when I know that others will relate and agree, and when I’m sure that what I’m saying is so original that people might ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ and shout “Amen!’ with me.

Except, what if that’s not the case? What if I keep waiting and assuming that if I don’t do it, someone else will, when the truth is, if I don’t do it and no one else will?

Because, they probably won’t. At least, they won’t say it, teach it, and explore it in the same way I would. Pleasing, proving, and perfecting aside, I have things to say. I have experiences to offer. I have a life story worth sharing. We all do.

My thoughts may not always fall within the popular opinion category, and, they may not be as powerful and riveting as I’d envision and hope. But they’re mine. And for that reason alone, they’re meaningful. They’re important. Maybe they’re even essential. The only way I’ll ever really know is if I allow the desire to be myself and to love myself override the ever-tempting desire to be liked and to look good.

I won’t please everyone, but I’m pretty sure I’m not doing that anyway. None of us are.

I’m tired of trying to prove myself to others, and frankly, I don’t really have anything to prove. I’m just as human as the next person.

I’m not perfect, but I’m far enough along on this journey to know perfection isn’t in the cards for any of us.

So, with that, I’m going to believe that if I don’t do it, no one else will. And I’m going to get to work, living, speaking, writing, sharing, and doing all the things that are meant for me.

P.S. If you don’t do it, no one else will either.

{featured image via unsplash}

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