{on the set of D Living. My nieces, Megan and Clara came to cheer me on!}

A couple weeks ago I made lists, prepared, packed my bags, and headed to Dallas to do a morning show and speak at Blissdom Conference. I was so stressed the week before that I detailed out where I needed to be and when–in half hour blocks in my calendar. I made a list of what outfit to wear what day, including accessories so I wouldn’t have to expend any brain power on tiny details.

The evening before my the morning show I pulled up the list on my phone and packed all of the things I needed for segment. I made tidy piles and put everything into bags. I had printed directions to the studio and breakfast pre-ordered through the hotel. Every ‘T’ was crossed and every ‘I’ was dotted. I laid in bed but couldn’t fall asleep. For an hour I laid there thinking about what needed to happen the next morning. Finally I let my mind wander and drifted off to sleep.

Too soon my alarm sounded and it was time to rise and {try to} shine. My nerves began to kick in again. I tried to take my time getting ready I kept telling myself the segment would be fine. I showered, dressed, and did my make-up.  I double checked my list to make sure I had everything I needed for my segment and headed down to my car. Slowly I pulled out of the hotel parking lot and listened as my maps app on my iphone told me where to go.

I missed my freeway entrance and did a U turn. I turned on the radio and then turned it off–ugh, too much input. I wanted to pull over the car and curl into a ball. I noticed the knot in my stomach and the tension in my shoulders. “I hate the way I feel” I thought. “Why did I ever agree to do this?” It wasn’t just nervousness. I felt fear. I was afraid of being humiliated. On live television.

I arrived at the station. I sat in the parking garage and attempted to collect myself. Deep breath. Another deep breath. Ok, go time.

After a little hunting I found the studio. I set up my DIY project and displayed some jewelry. More deep breaths. As the cameras rolled, I felt the nervousness fade and away. I felt like myself. And most shocking to me, I had fun. Afterwards I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest. I felt victorious. The segment wasn’t perfect but it was good–and I felt like I grew as a person.

I want to be willing to be stretched. I want to be willing to be afraid. I want to be willing to fail–as hard and scary as that may be. Because I can’t grow if I don’t try hard things.

Tonight I fly to Salt Lake City and tomorrow morning I’ll be on Studio 5–and I feel nervous AGAIN. But maybe a little less so than last time?

Have you done anything lately that felt hard? Where have you felt stretched?